Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Can Freddy Galvis Replicate His 2016 Success?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was an impressive 2016 campaign for the Phillies’ Freddy Galvis, but was it enough to earn a future spot on the rebuilding team?  How about a place on your future fantasy rosters?  Before we can try to answer those questions, first let’s take a look at the numbers:

584 At Bats
.241 Batting Average (141 Hits)
20 Home Runs
67 RBI
61 Runs
17 Stolen Bases
.274 On Base Percentage
.399 Slugging Percentage
.280 Batting Average on Balls in Play

He obviously showed an impressive blend of power and speed, though is either number believable?  Consider that 2015 is the only other season where he had a full slate of MLB at bats and he posted just 7 HR and 10 SB that season.  In 633 minor league games he hit 25 HR with 73 SB, so it’s fair to call both numbers into doubt.

There’s nothing unrealistic in his 12.5% HR/FB, especially as a 26-year old playing in Philadelphia.  Of course he actually hit 9 HR on the road and 11 at home, so it’s not like he was simply a power hitter at home.

What’s interesting is that coming up through the minors he was hailed more for his glove than his bat.  Prior to the 2012 seasons Baseball America ranked him as Philadelphia’s sixth best prospect stating:

A switch-hitter who sprays line drives, Galvis makes consistent contact but never will hit for much power and profiles as a No. 8 hitter. He has improved at bunting and moving runners.”

What’s important to note here is that he did not sell out in favor of the long ball (36.4% fly ball rate) and at his age it’s not surprising to see some of his line drives (23.5%) start to find their way over the fence.  While he may never be able to improve on last year’s power mark, seeing him follow it up with 15-18 HR wouldn’t be shocking.

As for the average, the aforementioned line drive rate should lead to an improved BABIP.  He’s always had some speed (as displayed by the SB number), but the big problem is his plate discipline:

  • SwStr% – 9.9%
  • O-Swing% – 40.4%

He doesn’t draw many walks, considering the O-Swing%, and that does hurt his overall appeal.  While the line drive rate should yield a better average, if he could refine his approach there’s little reason why he couldn’t post a .280ish average.  That’s not something we’d bank on, however, and with limited power and the potential to be strikeout prone (21.8% last season), we’re looking at more of a .250ish hitter (he hit .251 in the second half last season).

Does a potential 15/15 middle infielder hold value?  Absolutely, but with the limited average and the questions about his power he’s hardly a must own or a breakout 27-year old on the horizon.  It’s possible, so he’s worth a late round flier, but at this point he shouldn’t be viewed as a can’t miss option.

Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, Baseball America

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