Nathaniel Stoltz of Seedlings to Stars continues to unveil his Top-100 prospects for 2012 and the third San Diego Padres farmhand to make the list is middle infielder Jonathan Galvez, coming in at number 58.
Galvez, who turns 21 in January, spent this past season at High-A Lake Elsinore in the hitter-happy California League and took advantage of the change in atmosphere. In 2010 at Ft. Wayne, Galvez showed a promising walk rate of 12.4%, but struggled to a 26% strikeout rate. His walk rate and double-digit home run total at Ft. Wayne showed promise offensively and the idea that more power is to come as he grows into his 6’2″ frame is encouraging.
What’s not encouraging, however, is that in 2011, his walk rate dropped to a mere 7.5% and while his strikeout numbers also decreased, the additional pop that he showed could very well be chalked up to the league rather than development.
Galvez is very young and very raw and is at least two years away from playing in San Diego. If/when he does get there, I have to wonder if he won’t arrive as an outfielder. He has great speed and athleticism and natural ability to drive the ball, but defensively he’s a mess. In 2010, he committed a shocking 40 errors at shortstop, which prompted his shift to second base in 2011. He improved his error total last season, cutting it down to 21, but that’s still a long, long way from being an acceptable level for a major league infielder.
By placing Galvez as high as he did, I have to assume that Stoltz favors high-ceiling guys, even if they have a low floor. Galvez seems like exactly that kind of player. Stoltz summed up his thoughts on Galvez thusly:
Galvez could become a true star if everything breaks right, as he could be a patient 20-30 HR middle infielder with plus speed and defense, but he has a lot of work to do to get to that point.
I’m not about to debate the talent level that Galvez surely has, but talent and ability are two very different things. The downward trend in his walk rate, plus the horrendous defense he’s displayed in two full-season minor league stints make me extremely wary of placing a lot of expectations on him. As Stoltz said, Galvez has a lot of work to do.