Phillies Shortstop Freddy Galvis Wins Venezuelan League Championship


Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis helped the Aguilas De Zulia win the Venezuelan Winter League championship for the first time in 17 years.

Just because the regular season ends doesn’t mean baseball is over. If anything, it is just beginning in several other countries around the world. Australia, Venezuela, the Domincan Republic, Mexico, and Puerto Rico all host their own winter leagues, with several Phillies taking part.

Freddy Galvis and the Aguilas de Zulia won their first championship in 17 years. Their last title came in 2000.

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Zulia defeated the Cardenales de Lara in a 5-2 match. Now they will move on to the Caribbean Series to face the champions from the other winter leagues.

Galvis went one-for-three with one walk and one strikeout in the championship game. He came around to score twice as well.

Galvis struggled during the regular season. He went just 11-for-60 with one home run, 15 RBI, and a .570 OPS in 15 games.

However, Galvis turned it on once the playoffs rolled around. He had a .305 batting average and .766 OPS in 14 postseason games.

Galvis journeyed to his native Venezuela to get some extra at-bats before the 2017 season begins. He hit a career-high 20 home runs in 2016, but also had the lowest on-base percentage (.274) among all qualified hitters.

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Minor-league outfielder Herlis Rodriguez was also on Zulia’s roster. He came on as a defensive substitution in the championship game. He also struggled in the regular season, finishing with a .181/.228/.287 line in 46 games.

Rodriguez spent most of the 2016 season on the disabled list, appearing in just 48 games with High-A Clearwater. He posted a .213/.282/.277 line in that span. The team likely sent him to Venezuela in order to get him some more playing time.

The Phils also have connections to Zulia through the front office as well.

Former general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.’s father is a senior consultant to the team. Jr.’s brother Luis is the club’s general manager.

Next: Phils 2017 Bullpen Preview

Outfield prospect Carlos Tocci won the Venezuelan’s League Rookie of the Year award. Tocci hit for a .323 average and .401 OBP in 217 at-bats with the Tigres de Aragua. Odubel Herrera also won the award in the 2014-2015 season.