You may have noticed that our “Afterberth: IronPigs Edition” series quickly ended without so much as a whimper. That is because the unthinkable happened and Lehigh Valley was completely eliminated from the International League playoffs in four games, allowing the Columbus Sillymuffins–I have the hardest time remembering their name so that could be wrong–to go onto some kind of championship.
If you thought that was disappointing, consider we had a similar series planned for the Reading Phillies, whose exit from their playoffs was so fast and silent I didn’t even realize it started, let alone that it had come to a sudden, heartbreaking end. Speaking of heartbreaking, 2011 was another year of R-Phil Matt Rizzotti doing what he can to have a career, but Wally and Nate just dissected him for us on Seedlings to Stars and nobody raise your hopes about ever seeing him play in the Majors.
Anyway, in the IronPigs’ case, they could credit their magical-but-then-sad 2011 season muchly to Ryne Sandberg. They could also credit Freddy Galvis a little, if they wanted this transition to what I’m trying to talk about go a little easier. And apparently they do, because Phillies Shortstop of the Future Freddy Galvis is being honored with an award–and not one that shows how good a person he is. A real award; one given out for baseball talent, the most important personal feature in the world.
“Major League ready” is a term some prospects never hear, but Freddy certainly has. About his defense. His offense has been slightly better than mine the past few years, but it’s nothing that pushing a few cars around the Bright House Complex couldn’t fix.
But he spent two winter months at the Phillies’ spring training site in Clearwater this offseason, focusing on improving his strength, which included a workout where he was pushing cars around the warning track.
Thought I was kidding, didn’t you.
It was this work that not only improved Freddy’s hitting, but helped garner him the 2011 Paul Owens Award, given to the Phillies Minor Leaguer of the Year (Trevor May received the equivalent for pitchers).
Seeing how the Jimmy Rollins contract situation unfolds will greatly dictate the immediacy of Freddy’s usefulness. Could he be a 2012 Opening Day starter? Its possible. But mainly people just say that to shake things up. Let’s make sure Jimmy’s really going to walk away and leave this all behind before we start talking like that, right Jimmy?
He’ll be back.
The point is, congratulations on improving your hitting, Freddy Galvis. Now let’s all have a great big overhyping of your talents so that we may be inevitably disappointed by you.