Shelton: Signing Galvis proving to be excellent decision by Jays
July 2, 2019
By Cole Shelton
Canadian Baseball Network
The 2019 season has not been a kind one for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The team is over 20 games under .500 and could very well lose 100 games. But there have been a few bright spots for the team, like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Montreal, Que.), Cavan Biggio, Ken Giles, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Marcus Stroman.
One less talked about bright spot has been the play of shortstop Freddy Galvis. When the Blue Jays signed Galvis at the end of January to a one-year, $4 million dollar deal with a club option, fans didn’t think much of it. He was going to be a stop-gap at shortstop while Bo Bichette was in the minors and then would slide over to the bench when Bichette got here. Yet, that has not been the case. Rather, Galvis has been one of the better hitters this season for the Blue Jays and a consistent fielder.
Galvis has appeared in 80 games with Toronto and is batting .247 with a .291 on-base percentage along with 14 home runs, just six less than his career-high. The shortstop has been patient at the plate, walking 17 times and chasing 35.7 per cent of the time but making contact 55.7 per cent of the time when he does indeed chase.
Why he is having so much success this season at the plate is simple. The 29-year-old is hitting the ball harder than ever, his exit velocity is 88, good for 88th in all of baseball. And his hard-hit rate percentage is 36.2 per cent, in previous seasons, it was in the mid-20’s. Not only is he hitting the ball hard, but he is hitting the ball all over the field, with him going opposite field 26.8 per cent of the time, according to baseball savant.
His bat has been a pleasant surprise for a team that struggles to get hits and runs.
His defence at shortstop has also been better than expected. He has committed just five errors, and has a fielding percentage of .985, while he has helped turn 49 double plays this season.
In a down year for many players on the Blue Jays, Galvis has been one of their most consistent and effective players. He has done it all, whether it be at the plate or in the field, and he has proven to be a valuable player who could be traded at the deadline to a contending team.
Regardless, the Galvis signing has been an excellent one in a year where not much has gone right for the only MLB team north of the border.