Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela.
B: S T: R / Height: 5' 10" / Weight: 154 lbs.
Birth Date: November 14, 1989
2007 Team/Level: Williamsport (Rookie)
Positions Played in 2007: SS (38 g)
Batting and Power: The Phillies probably didn't even think much about what Freddy Galvis might be able to do with a bat when they first saw him. This isn't the area that gets everybody excited; yet. He's got a small frame and doesn't generate any power, natural or otherwise, but scouts believe that he can be a pesky sort of slap hitter who can simply get on base and make things happen from there. It's going to take him a while to develop offensively, but keep in mind that his 2007 numbers were produced by a 17 year old who was facing pitchers who were primarily college pitchers with much more experience and some of them were even in their second season in the pros.
Baserunning and Speed: Galvis has great speed, but it's unbridled and raw. He tends to run into some outs and just figures on using speed to steal bases, rather than waiting for the right time to swipe a base. Again, that's a 17 year old kid out there just trying to make things happen and it doesn't concern the Phillies. In Galvis, the Phillies have a kid who is smart enough to learn those things as he goes along and who has plenty of time to develop his natural skills and instincts.
Defense: This is what all the scouts drool over. Comparisons to Omar Vizquel and even Ozzie Smith have been thrown around like they're nothing when people talk of Galvis. He uses his speed to get to the ball and will rarely misjudge a ball that's hit anywhere near him. He has excellent range and always keeps himself in control moving side to side. His arm is above average, but he will uncork a wild toss every now and then and it usually comes on a routine play, possibly because he loses a little concentration when things are too routine. He's the type of player who likes to stay busy in the field and can get a little careless if his time isn't well occupied.
Projection: Putting Freddy Galvis this high in the rankings this early in his career is a bit of a gamble. We did so assuming that his offense is going to come around and that he won't be another Mario Mendoza. One key reason for optimism is that Galvis has the same kind of mental make up that scouts saw in Chase Utley when he was in college; a kid who would work his butt off to get better and would take whatever coaches give to him and put it into practice. Since he just turned 18, there is plenty of time for Galvis to develop and he will get much better at the plate. With his combination of defense and speed, all he has to do is develop plate discipline, take some walks and sling in some hits here and there and he'll be just fine. Note that 6 of his 29 hits were for extra bases, which isn't a bad percentage, and many of those were made by his speed.
ETA: How quickly will Galvis develop? Impossible to say, but you have to figure that he's going to have a better, but still tough time of things in 2008 and will likely be back at Williamsport. After that, it's anybody's guess as to how quickly he can develop, but don't figure on Galvis being at the upper levels of the minors until about 2012 or so and then ready for the majors a year or so after that. Keep in mind that when the 2012 season starts, he'll still just be 23 years old.
Comparison: The name that most scouts throw around is Omar Vizquel. If Galvis can get to the point where he hits in the neighborhood of Vizquel's career .274 average, the Phillies will be thrilled.
Freddy Galvis' career stats