Name: Wladimir Galindo, 3B
Age: 18 (11/6/1996)
How acquired: Signed as a free agent on December 18, 2013, out of Venezuela. Scouted by Hector Ortega and Julio Figueroa.
Venezuelan Cubs, Venezuelan Summer League, Rookie League, (62 G, .278/.356/.462, 7 HR, 30 RBI)
Prior to Cubs
Ranked #25 by mlb.com before the July 2 signing period, Galindo drew interest for his raw power and strong arm. Scouts also like his size and projected the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder as a corner infielder or outfielder. Galindo and Cubs prospect Gleyber Torres are friends as the two traveled together during the July 2 signing period and are represented by Ciro Barrios. In an interview with Northsiders Report, Galindo said the Mets, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Cardinals, Astros and Giants all expressed interest but decided the best opportunity to grow professionally was with the Cubs. “This is a great chance for me to develop as a professional, prove my talent and worth, so I can work my way towards the majors,” Galindo said. After turing pro, Galindo saw action in the Venezuelan B League, hitting .341/.354/.500 in 16 games with two homers and 16 RBI.
In his pro debut on May 12 vs. Phillies, Galindo went 0-for-4 and fanned three times but the following day he recorded his first pro hit in impressive fashion with a solo homer off Rays’ pitching. His top game came on May 29, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. Galindo was able to log 250 plate appearances in the VSL and led the league with seven homers and was among the leaders in total bases (103), slugging (.462), and OBP (.344). He hit .278 and despite striking out 55 times, did show some good plate discipline with 20 walks. His season included an 18-game hitting streak (June 21-July 13), hitting .310/.388/.563 during the stretch with 4 HR and 12 RBI. Galindo will be spending plenty of time taking grounders at third and improving his arm as he committed 23 errors in 46 games. He made 11 starts at first and played one game in left.
The 18-year-old will be back in Mesa and if he can impress, stick around for extended spring training and a season stateside in the Arizona Rookie League. While Galindo will need to improve his defense and some swing-and-miss, I’m looking forward to see if he can handle better pitching and continue to hit balls out of the park. Galindo’s a long ways from a MLB debut but a quick rise through the system could be in store if he continues to show the power.