There have been a few questions that have come in regarding Jonathan Galvez, a high profile signing by the Padres last year in the Dominican Republic.
Galvez (also known as Spraud) is an athletic 6'2" shortstop who just turned 17 in January. Galvez participated in the Arizona Instructional League last fall in Peoria as a 16-year old, and based on his play this summer, he must be anxious to get back there.
The Dominican Summer League (DSL) does not produce big offensive statistics. The DSL is not akin to amateur baseball in the United States in which players routinely have a .400 average with a bunch of home runs. Actually, it's the converse. These are young kids, anywhere from 16-19 who are not yet fully developed physically and yet are playing with wood bats on Major League size fields. Furthermore, the pitchers are usually much more advanced than the hitters, throwing with good velocity and mixing in some off-speed pitches, and they see these advanced pitchers day in and day out.
I would say that the first cousin of the Dominican Summer League is the Cape Cod League, the preeminent college wood bat summer league. As in the Dominican, the players in the Cape are essentially the all-stars from around the country, and they compete against each other every day (unlike a typical amateur schedule which is only a few days a week of games) with wood bats. Due to all of these factors, offensive numbers from the Cape are typically well below that of a normal minor league circuit.
So, imagine the Cape Cod League, but take four years of age and physical development of off the players, and you can understand why even the best offensive players post pedestrian statistics.
Jonathan Galvez is hitting .395 with a .544 obp and a .698 slg.
To be fair, Galvez has played in 18 games so far this summer, so these numbers have not been compiled over 500 plate appearances. That said, his performance to date is extremely rare. The most exciting part for us is that he is a well-rounded player with an advanced approach. He has hit for average and power all while drawing walks and also stealing bases. Our player development staff in the Dominican should be very proud of how they have been able to advance Jonathan's talent in a very short period of time.
We have a handful of other players currently playing well in the DSL, and we're hopeful that a number of them can take the step to the US next spring. Maybe sometime after July 2nd (the international signing date) I'll spend more time profiling a group of them.