Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A look at Freddy Galvis, your Opening Day Second Baseman

Freddy Galvis was thwarted into an even larger spotlight yesterday afternoon at Bright House Field as news of Chase Utley's departure from camp swirled. Unless Ruben Amaro Jr. can find the right deal in the next two weeks, Galvis is the Phillies' Opening Day second baseman.

It's not what anyone wanted, anyone not named Galvis anyway, but having him at their disposal is a luxury. Galvis is not going to be a liability for the club. He's an excellent defensive player and has great baseball sense. Naturally a shortstop, he made the transition to second base instantly and flawlessly. Everyone raves about his glove. But can he hit?

That's been the question. This spring he's been very good at the plate, going 11-for-39 (.282) with six runs, two doubles, one triple, one home run, ten RBI, two walks, three strikeouts, one stolen base and no caught stealing. Each of the previous two springs with the Phils, Galvis bat .182. It's certainly safe to say he's progressing as a hitter. But this is only spring training.

Last year, in time spent between AA and AAA, he had a career year, batting .278 with 78 runs, 28 doubles, five triples, eight home runs, 43 RBI, 23 steals and 13 caught stealing. Nearly every stat was a career high. He's a career .246 hitter in the minors.

Galvis is not likely to hit at the .282 clip in which he's currently batting in the big leagues during the regular season, but his ceiling is extremely high and he's clearly maturing as a hitter after every at bat. That bodes well for distressed Phillies' fans. There's a good chance we've all seen the last of the real Chase Utley. Start buying your Galvis T-shirts; he has the potential to become a fan favorite.

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