Phillies: What happened to shortstop Freddy Galvis?

Freddy Galvis, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Freddy Galvis, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Three-time Gold Glove Award finalist Freddy Galvis was known for his defense with the Philadelphia Phillies and is now with his third team since being traded.

Infielder Freddy Galvis signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006 as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela.

After just 33 games at AAA Lehigh Valley in 2011, Galvis made his major league debut at the start of the 2012 season, progressively working his way to a primary starting role thanks in large part to his defense.

Galvis hit .298/.315/.364 in his limited AAA experience, after hitting .273/.326/.400 with AA Reading in 104 games in 2011. Those averages were a surprise given his reputation as a defensive player.

In 2012, with Chase Utley injured, Galvis started the season as the Phillies’ second baseman, where he hit three HR, 24 RBI and .226/.254/.363 in 58 games. He had a .996 fielding percentage at second base, which was a new position after spending the majority of his minor league time at shortstop.

His 2012 season was cut short by a fractured back and a positive performance-enhancing substances test (he said in a statement that he didn’t know how the substance got into his body, but apologized to fans and teammates).

Galvis returned to the Phillies’ bench in 2013, but was sent back to the minor leagues in late June with just four HR, 14 RBI and a .207/.270/.367 slash line through his first 54 games. He returned in September, finishing the season with a total six HR, 19 RBI and .234/.283/.385 slash line.

Galvis’ stints in the majors that year were split between various defensive positions, which saw him spend time at second base, third base, shortstop and left field.

The following season saw missed time for injury and split time between AAA (35 games) and the majors (43 games). Despite continued offensive struggles, his opportunity to become a primary starter came during the 2014-15 off-season when the Phillies traded shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Galvis took over the primary shortstop role for the 2015 season, where he responded with a strong offensive start, hitting .355/.395/.434 through the end of April and .289/.342/.335 through the end of May, despite only one home run and 12 RBI.

Overall, he hit seven HR, 50 RBI and .263/.302/.343 that season. Defensively, his 17 errors ranked fifth among shortstops in the National League, while his fielding percentage was .973.

Galvis returned to the shortstop role in 2016, where his defense improved. He ranked in the top-five in multiple defensive categories in the National League, including fifth in assists (407), third in double-plays turned as shortstop (93), first in putouts as shortstop (210) and first in fielding percentage as shortstop (.987).

Galvis was named a Gold Glove Award finalist, along with Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants and Addison Russell of the Chicago Cubs, ultimately losing to Crawford.

Offensively, Galvis’ HR and RBI totals were up, but his batting average and on-base percentage were down. He ended the season hitting 20 HR, 67 RBI and .241/.274/.399 in 158 games.

The following season saw slightly more games, starting 156 and appearing in all 162. He continued to display one of the best defensive performances in the National League, ranking fourth in assists (404), third in double-plays turned as shortstop (94), second in putouts as shortstop (226) and first in fielding percentage as shortstop (.989, where he also led the MLB).

Once again, Galvis was named a Gold Glove Award finalist, along with Crawford and Corey Seager of the Dodgers. As with the year prior, it was Crawford who won the award.

Opposite of 2016, Galvis’ 2017 season saw less HR and RBI but increased averages, ending the year with 12 HR, 61 RBI and a .255/.309/.382 slash line.

With Cesar Hernandez performing well offensively and defensively at second base, plus infielder Scott Kingery and shortstop J.P. Crawford coming up through the minors, Galvis’ strong defense was not enough to keep him on the Phillies roster.

The team traded Galvis to the San Diego Padres in December 2017 for pitcher Enyel De Los Santos.

Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies /

Philadelphia Phillies

The shortstop had a similar 2018 season with the Padres, starting all 162 games, ranking high in defensive categories (including leading the National League in putouts as shortstop and fielding percentage as shortstop) and hitting 13 HR, 67 RBI and .248/.299/.380. He was once again a Gold Glove finalist, along with Crawford and Nick Ahmed of the Arizona Diamondbacks, losing the award to Ahmed.

Galvis signed with the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent in January 2019, hitting 18 HR, 54 RBI and .267/.299/.444 in 115 games before being placed on waivers in August, where he was claimed by the Cincinnati Reds.

With the Reds, he moved from primary shortstop to primary second baseman. He finished the season with a combined 23 HR, 70 RBI (both career-high) and .260/.296/.438 slash line between the two teams. On defense, Galvis had a .986 fielding percentage as shortstop, which was third in the MLB. He remains with the Reds as part of their major league roster for 2020.

Galvis will be remembered for his defense with the Phillies, where he was a key part of their starting lineup for a few seasons during their decade of rebuilding. He now finds himself on his third team since being traded by the Phillies, who find themselves with a third primary shortstop since trading Galvis, with the addition of Didi Gregorius.