READING, Pa. (CBS) –– Eventually a player not named Jimmy Rollins is going to be the starting shortstop for the Phillies. Whether that moment arrives next season or further down the road remains to be seen, but one option to eventually take the baton for the Phils at that position is Freddy Galvis.
Galvis was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2006 at the age of 16, and while the talk about Galvis prior to this season had centered on his good glovework, here in 2011, at the age of 21, it would appear that the pieces are starting to come together for him at the plate.
Reading hitting coach Frank Cacciatore is impressed about how far the shortstop has come with the bat.
“He did a lot of work in the offseason just to get physically stronger,” Cacciatore tells KYW Newsradio. “He’s still real young and physically he’s not an early bloomer, so he’s getting stronger now and it shows with the way he commands the bat. He’s hitting a little bit smarter. He’s been a pleasure to see from last year to this year — the increase in the numbers and the increase in his confidence at bat.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Frank Cacciatore in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
Galvis spent all of last season with Reading, hitting .233. This season that average is up to .268.
That offseason work to get stronger has also helped add some “pop” in his bat. Galvis has seven home runs this season in 400 at-bats. He had ten in more than 1,400 pro at-bats as a pro prior to 2011.
Also before to this season, Galvis had spent a lot of time batting low in the line-up. This year Galvis has hit leadoff for Reading and he has enjoyed moving up in the order.
“Last year I was, like, just playing my defense, you know? Doing little stuff, you know, hitting. But right now I know I have to do something — I’m the leadoff guy, I’m the offense guy, so I have to do something. I feel like I have to hit, I have to be on base, so I think that’s good for me. ”
While his offensive improvements have generated a lot of attention, Galvis says he knows that as a shortstop he needs to be continue to be top-notch with the glove:
“I think that my strong stuff for me is my defense. I have to keep working at my defense, too. I’ve been working hard at my offense but I never forget my defense. I always keep working hard, try to get better every day.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Freddy Galvis in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
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As for the future, Galvis isn’t focusing on when his shot in Philadelphia might come.
“I just think about playing every day. The only think I know is, I have to play hard. That’s the only thing I do, is play hard every day. Everybody wants to play in the big leagues. I want to see me in the big leagues, so I play hard every day.”
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060