MadFriars' Interview: Jonathan Galvez

SAN ANTONIO -- This season one of the best hitters for the San Antonio Missions has been second baseman Jonathan Galvez.

Signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Padres in 2009, the lanky 6'3" native of Santo Domingo is hitting .314/.387/.451 after missing much of the early part of the year with ankle and hamstring problems.

Galvez, 21, has always excited the team with his bat and last year in Lake Elsinore he hit .291/.355/.465 with 13 home runs and 86 RBIs in 128 games after being shifted from shortstop to second base. Additionally he stole 37 bases in 46 attempts.

Galvez, along with third baseman Edison Rincon, is among the Padres' young Latin hitters that defy the stereotype of the free swinging players from the Dominican Republic with a career .367 on-base percentage.

The big question on Jonathan has always been will he be good enough defensively to stay in the infield where his value is the highest?

After making a pair of errors in the first two games he has only committed three more for the rest of the year and seemingly has grown more comfortable at second than he was at shortstop in Fort Wayne in 2010.

We caught up with Jonathan in early June when he was just coming off of the disabled list.

You had a very good spring in major league camp. Why did you play so well?

Jonathan Galvez: In the Dominican in the off-season I worked very hard with my hitting coach and I think that was the big reason for my success.

In the Dominican Republic how much physical training did you do?

Jonathan Galvez: We did everything. Usually it was with a group of players but occasionally it was just me and my coach.

Galvez is hitting .314 for the Missions.

What did you do to improve defensively at second base in the off-season?

Jonathan Galvez: Its easier for me to play second than short. This year I feel better and more comfortable there since last year was the first time I had played there. Before I was always at shortstop.

To me that is always a more difficult position than it is given credit for because of the angles and having to turn your back with someone coming down at you.

Jonathan Galvez: That is true but after going through that last year it is the reason why I feel more comfortable playing there this season.

How is hitting in San Antonio compared to other parks?

Jonathan Galvez: It is tough. You have to stay inside the ball and try to not get it up in the air too much.

You have always been a very disciplined hitter. When we talked last year were you always like that growing up?

Jonathan Galvez: Yes I was but as I get older I am becoming more disciplined and understand what balls I should swing at and which ones I shouldn't.

Also Coach Tornincasa is really good at letting me know when I swing at bad pitches.

He helps you learn some new words in English?

Jonathan Galvez: Yes. [laughs]. He teaches me many new words that I shouldn't say.

What is the part of your game that you are trying to work on the most this year?

Jonathan Galvez: My defense. Just trying to get better on the balls hit to me and getting to more balls.

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