Last year, many people thought the Philadelphia Phillies might go with young prospect Freddy Galvis on their Opening Day roster to replace free agent-to-be Jimmy Rollins. Galvis did start on Opening Day, but it wasn’t for Rollins – it was for Chase Utley, the rapidly aging second baseman who is dealing with another bout of patellar tendinitis, this time in both his knees.
Galvis is just 22 years old and he’s clearly overmatched at the plate, but he’s terrific defensively. It took Galvis some time to collect his first major league hit, and he’s hitting just .222/.250/.407 in 28 lifetime plate appearances at the big league level. It is rather shocking to realize Galvis is tied for the team league with one home run, and his five RBIs lead the team straight up.
I don’t think many people would have expected Galvis to be hitting as well as he is, but one home run really doesn’t mean a lot. He’s been hitting in the eighth spot for the Phillies, and if it wasn’t for his defensive prowess, he wouldn’t be on the team right now. He doesn’t provide an upgrade at all over Pete Orr or Hector Luna, except he has a great glove, and it’s nice to see the Phillies go from a terrific fielder in Utley to a terrific fielder in Galvis.
Galvis has handled 46 total chances in the field and assisted in seven double plays, with just one error. The Phillies also recently signed career utility infielder Mike Fontenot, but he will go to Triple-A and it’s likely the Phillies will stick with Galvis for now. If he can maintain his .657 OPS, that won’t be awful. It’s not much better than Wilson Valdez or Michael Martinez, but then again, I didn’t expect much better than that from Galvis. More importantly will be his defense and clutch stats like his knack to come through in the clutch.