Phillies: Will Freddy Galvis be able to hold off J.P. Crawford?

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Freddy Galvis #13 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws to first base after fielding a ground ball in the sixth inning during a game against the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 9-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Freddy Galvis #13 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws to first base after fielding a ground ball in the sixth inning during a game against the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 9-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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One of the biggest questions surrounding the Phillies is who will wind up being the shortstop of the future: starter Freddy Galvis or prospect J.P. Crawford?

Heading into this season, the situation in the Phillies middle infield was cloudy at best. The team had to figure out who would be moved out of the starting lineup between Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis with J.P. Crawford on the way. Now more than four months into the season, the situation is only cloudier.

Through his first 56 games this year, Crawford had a measly .194 batting average with a .565 OPS. After missing a week and a half due to injury, Crawford has bounced back with a .270/.376/.561 line, nine home runs, and 25 RBI in 40 games. Even then, Crawford’s line for the season is a meager .226/.339/.381.

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Meanwhile, Galvis has been hitting better than Crawford this year, albeit not much better. Galvis has a .721 OPS with 11 home runs. He has hit better than last year, and his on-base percentage is the highest of his career for a season.

Galvis’s defense has been quite strong this year and he consistently makes strong defensive plays. He has made just six errors this year and could contend for another Gold Glove.

One of the intangibles that Galvis possesses is the fact that he is one of the leaders in the clubhouse. He is the longest-tenured Phillie on the roster, making his debut back in 2012. Most of the other players on the team only got here in the last few years. At some point, this team needs leaders, and Galvis is one at this point.

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If Crawford was hitting the way he has recently the whole season, this conversation probably wouldn’t be happening. He would have been in the majors already and would see consistent playing time over Galvis. However, Crawford’s struggles leave just enough room to question who could be the future at shortstop.

Next season, Galvis may start off the year as the starter, but J.P. Crawford will be on the 40-man roster and could be in the majors early on if he starts off well. The question about who the long-term starter will be will have to be answered next year because Galvis will hit free agency. If he isn’t locked up, he could go somewhere else.

Next: Phillies recall Jorge Alfaro & Ricardo Pinto

This storyline will push through this season and into next year. It will be one of the more intriguing aspects of this team next year.

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