Phillies: Long-Term Future Bleak for Either Galvis or Hernandez


Phillies GM Matt Klentak will have a major decision to make between Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez this season

Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez are two homegrown prospects who have solidified the Phillies middle infield for the past two seasons. Taking over for legends Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley is never an easy feat, but the two have done a tremendous job not just at the plate, but with the glove.

But with top prospect J.P. Crawford just months away from being ready for the big leagues, the Phillies must make a choice. Should they keep Hernandez at second, see if prospect Scott Kingery continues to develop, and trade/bench Galvis; or trade Hernandez and move Galivs to second and see what Scott Kingery can do in the minors.

Klentak can not keep both Galvis and Hernandez as parts of the future, and has a difficult decision regarding who gets a chance to be part of a contender going forward.

Both natives of Venezuela, Galvis and Hernandez signed amateur free agent contracts with the Phillies in July of 2006. Galvis arrived in Philadelphia in 2012, while Hernandez came just two years later.

In terms of team control, the edge goes to Hernandez, who has yet to reach arbitration. Even better, his first year of free agency is not until 2021. Galvis on the other hand entered arbitration in 2016, and will be a free agent in 2019.

Versatility wise, both Galvis and Hernandez can play either shortstop, second, third, and outfield in emergency situations.

Defensively, Galvis has the slight upper hand after being named a finalist for the Gold Glove at shortstop this past season. He committed eight errors at short, while Hernandez had 12 across the diamond, the third-most among National League second basemen.

At the plate, each brings a very different approach. Galvis suffers from “Jimmy disease,” meaning he swings for the fences too many times because he knows he has the power to. Freddy knocked a career-high 20 home runs last year, but his batting average suffered due to it. Galvis hit just .241 in a career-high 158 games, while striking out 136 times and walking only 25. His .274 on-base percentage was the worst among all qualified hitters in baseball.

Hernandez on the other hand excels in plate discipline, walking 104 times over the past two seasons, compared to Galvis’ 55. In fact, despite having played 98 fewer games than Galvis, Hernandez had more walks over the past two seasons than Galvis in his entire professional career, 83.

In his second full season with the Phillies, Hernandez hit .294 in 622 plate appearances, while leading baseball with 11 triples.

Hernandez totaled 20 more hits than Galvis, despite having two fewer at-bats and having played in three less games in 2016.

At the end of the day, here is what you get with each player:

Klentak has preached the use of analytics from day one of his tenure with the Phillies, and smarter people than I will break down every pixel of every play. Ultimately, the Phillies have one of the toughest decisions possible when it comes to the immediate future of the club.

Keep the power-hitting Gold Glover, or the pure-hitter with more team control?