The San Diego Padres landed a veteran shortstop in Freddy Galvis during the 2018 offseason. Labeled as another stopgap, Galvis meant much more to the organization this season and deserves a Gold Glove.
Freddy Galvis originally came to the San Diego Padres from the Philadelphia Phillies due to A.J. Preller wanting to find a serviceable shortstop for the Padres after having to watch Erick Aybar, Luis Sardinas, Yangervis Solarte, and a host of other players attempt to man the position. One could even argue that acquiring Galvis has been one of Preller’s better moves as a GM while evaluating talent at the major league level (take that as you will). After years of stopgaps at the position including the likes of Alexi Amarista and Aybar, having someone of Galvis’ caliber brought a stable presence to the middle of the infield.
Galvis deserved a gold glove last year and he deserves one this year. He is Major League Baseball’s current “ironman”, having appeared in every game over his last two seasons. His defense has been incredible since day one in a Padres uniform and on a regular basis made the hard plays look easy. The 28-year-old has been a leader on the field and in the clubhouse this season and has arguably been the Padres MVP of 2018.
Trea Turner and Trevor Story may have had better offensive numbers and are more high-profile players, but this award is about your defensive ability. Brandon Crawford won the award last season, arguably robbing Freddy Galvis of the award.
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While his offensive numbers may not have been at the same level as Turner or Story, Galvis played more innings at shortstop and committed fewer errors than each of them. Galvis has played the most innings at shortstop this season (among NL shortstops) and of all qualified NL shortstops, he leads the league in fielding percentage at .986 (just .001 percentage points behind DiDi Gregorious for the MLB lead). He committed nine errors in 1,401 innings while Turner and Story each committed 12 errors over 1,401 and 1,372 innings respectively. Crawford also committed 16 errors over 1,259 innings.
Turner and Story both posted a .981 fielding percentage while Crawford posted a .975 fielding percentage according to Fangraphs. All three are below Galvis on the list and thus if the committee goes off these numbers then he should finally win a much deserved Gold-Glove this season.
Coming into the season, many of the Padres faithful wrote off the native-Venezuelan as another stopgap to fill a void in the infield until prized prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. made it to the big leagues. However, Galvis continually made the hard plays look easy this season and bailed out his pitchers night after night. Having a man of Galvis’ defensive caliber is essential to building a winning team and only time will tell if he remains a member of the Padres in 2019 as he is a free agent.
Galvis has proved that he is arguably the best defensive shortstop the Padres have seen since the likes of Khalil Greene and Garry Templeton roamed the infield. His steady presence and leadership on and off the field made him a popular figure in San Diego and it is time Major League Baseball honors with a Gold Glove award.