Name: Jonathan Galvez
Position: Second base/Shortstop
Notable 2011 Stats: .291/.355/.465 with 36 2B, 5 3B, 13 HR, 123/41 K/BB, and 37-for-46 SB in 128 games with Lake Elsinore (High-A)
Why He’s This High: Galvez put together an excellent 2011 season despite being young for his level.
A wiry player with excellent bat speed, Galvez is still growing into his body and has more power coming. Some of his doubles and triples should turn into homers as he matures, making him a possible 20-HR middle infielder.
He boasts a decent approach for his age–in 2010, he walked in 12.4% of his plate appearances while striking out in 26%, and while his walk rate fell to 7.5% in 2011, he managed to cut his strikeouts down to 22.6%. If he can learn to combine 2010′s selectivity with 2011′s contact ability, he’ll be a true all-around offensive talent.
He’s also an excellent athlete capable of making highlight plays on defense, and his athleticism carries over to basestealing, where he was one of the top thieves in the California League.
Why He’s This Low: Galvez remains raw in many areas. Obviously, he needs to cut down on his strikeouts, and his K/BB ratio has fallen from .68 to .48 to .33 over the past three seasons.
The most glaring problem with his current skillset is defensive miscues. He’s a career .915 fielder at shortstop, including 40 errors in 2010; that forced him to spend almost all of 2011 at second base, where he fielded .960, still well below average. He needs to learn to play more under control and make fewer throwing errors, or else all the athleticism in the world won’t make him a good MLB defender.
Galvez’s 2011 offensive performance should be regarded with some skepticism, as it came in the hitter-friendly California League. He’s not the sort of prospect who came completely out of nowhere to post big numbers–he hit .258/.360/.397 the prior year in the tough Midwest League–but it’s quite possible that his jump of .015 in BABIP and .036 ISO was more due to the environment change than any sort of skill growth on Galvez’s part.
Conclusions: Galvez could become a true star if everything breaks right, as he could be a patient 20-30 HR middle infielder with plus speed and defense, but he has a lot of work to do to get to that point.
He must significantly cut down on his errors and strikeouts to become a solid MLB starter, let alone a star. He also has yet to show he can clear fences consistently even in the easy CAL environment, so it’s still unclear how much power he’ll attain…and if he does grow into a 20-HR guy, will he retain his athleticism?
Galvez is an intriguing young player who’s shown a fair bit of skill for a 20-year-old, and he has a lot of potential upside on top of that, but a long way to go to fulfill it all. He’ll open 2012 as a 21-year-old in Double-A, and his next two seasons will be crucial for his development.
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