Monday, March 5, 2012

Sabermetrics: Freddy Galvis still has some work to do with the bat

PBR - Freddy Galvis is no stranger to top prospect lists, but his stellar glove often has been overshadowed by his struggles at the plate.

The 22-year-old shortstop pieced together a respectable campaign in 2011 as he spent time at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but it's quite evident he needs to drastically improve his offensive skills if he expects to make an eventual impact in Philadelphia.

The chart below lists several offensive metrics and shows how Galvis has improved since 2009.

  • OA or Offensive Average = (TB+BB+SB)/(AB+BB)
  • wOBA or Weighted On Base Average = (.69*BB = .72*HBP + .89*1B +1.26*2B + 1.60*3B + 2.08*HR + .25*SB - .50*CS)/PA
  • OPS or On Base Plus Slugging = OBP+SLG
  • EYE = BB/K
  • BABIP or Batting Average on Balls in Play = (H-HR)/(AB-K-HR+SF)


You can see a noticeable improvement in each of the five metrics, however, it's possible the 2011 figures may be skewed somewhat by Galvis's high BABIP.  The average BABIP should fall somewhere between .290 and .310, anything outside those parameters is likely cause for further analysis.

Faster players often tend to have higher BABIP's as they can beat out infield hits. Galvis does have some speed so that certainly contributed to the increase. Digging deeper, I searched for contact-type statistics (i.e, fly ball, line drive, etc.) but couldn't find figures for the 2011 minor league season, so I instead looked at his Isolated Power and compared it to his previous two seasons and noticed his 2011 ISO of .114 was approximately 32% higher than the .078 ISO he posted in 2010.

ISO is a statistic that measures raw power by subtracting batting average from slugging percentage. The result is how many extra bases a player averages at bat. The higher ISO forces me to believe Galvis was making better contact in 2011 than ever before. I also examined his Contract Rate (AB-K)/AB) and noticed it was slightly better in '11 than '10 (.842 vs..823.) Both of these figures, in addition to his speed, may compensate rightfully for his '11 BABIP.

Understanding 2011 was an improvement on his career offensive numbers, it still looks rather lackluster when you compute it to major league equivalences - a .236 average with six homers and 31 RBIs, coupled with a .316 SLG and a .373 OA. The most disturbing number, however, is his projected EYE of .237. [MLE Calculator]

There is no doubt Galvis is improving offensively and he still has a strong chance at becoming a regular at the major league level, but his offensive skills have to continue trending upward if he hopes to become a difference maker with anything more than his glove.

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