Friday, June 27, 2008

Jonathan Galvez

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.

19 comments:

Peter said...

Wow!!!

I had wondered what happened to Spraud.

Love the site DePo!

One question, Towers (I think it was Towers) said he still expects to get the deal done with Dykstra you guys are being cautious. I know you cannot comment on un-signed players' medical conditions, but can you answer the following:

Since we expect to get a deal done do we also expect that Dykstra will play pro ball this year, or might he sign too close to the Aug. 15 deadline and miss this season?

Peter said...

Do we expect Galvez to stay at SS?

Alex said...

That's pretty amazing given the parameters you just described. There is a huge difference between a 16 year old's body in a league like this (well, except for human freaks like Angel "pushing 250" Vilanona) and a 20 year old's in the cape cod league, so the wooden bat impact is definitely greater on this level.

I've often wondered if college (or even high school) teams will ever stop using Aluminum altogether and switch back to wood (they already changed the weight rules of aluminum bats a few times). I can't imagine what it would be like to be an average high schooler having to face Clayton Kershaw with a wooden bat (or even aluminum I guess), but then again, there was a time before aluminum. Were high school hitting stats back then just so deflated that Aluminum is an absolute necessity?

Having wooden bats in college I think would do wonders for the ability to measure a player's college stats and translate them more accurately, but I guess the feat for the NCAA is that it would become waaaaay to pitching dominated (as it is, a legitimate MLB prospect will already be extremely dominant vs Aluminum)

erik said...

I know the Pads do not have a team in Venezuela, but to your knowledge does that same comparison hold up for the VSL?

field39 said...

Thank you for the info.

Have the Padres considered a "Future Padres" section of the official website, where fans could easily find current info on Padre prospects?

Peter said...

Alex,

Aluminum is used for cost savings... A team can have a few $100-300 bats vs. going through several $25-35 wooden bats every week...

Christopher said...

Paul, as baseball and football drafts are so different, I'm wondering what kind of access you have medically to players before the draft.

Can you request a physical from any player before a draft?

Do you have access to their medical records before a draft or must you rely on media hearsay?

Poolie said...

Paul,
I love all your updates on our new draft picks, lesser known prospects in general and am looking forward to read more about our most promising DSL players!

Thank you so much,
Don

rjmil04 said...

He sounds good. And if my math is correct, assuming about 75 plate appearances so far (average a little more than 4 per game), maybe a little low, Galvez must have about 18-20 walks. That gives him SEVEN more than Kouz and about the same number as Khalil! Any chance you could send those two to the DSL? They need what you're teaching Galvez.

Peter said...

All: Jonathan Galvez' MiLB page is here:

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Jonathan%20Galvez&pos=IF&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=527039

Cpt Top Off said...

Paul,

Thank you for the insight on the DSL - I think most of us know very little about the nature of that league.

RE the wood/aluminum bat issue, has Major League baseball ever considered subsidizing (at least partially) the use of wood bats in collegiate baseball? It strikes me as money that would be well-spent in order to properly evaluate hitters.

Denis Savage said...

I was extremely impressed with the man formerly known as Spraud when I saw him in Instructs this past year. He hit every ball and really just needed to add some muscle to his frame to turn those hard hit balls into solid line drives and homers.

Can you talk a little bit about Rymer Liriano - the other half of last year's position signing from July 2? It seems a no-brainer that he breaks the DSL Padres mark for homers as a 17-year-old this year (I think the record is 7 or 8). And talking with the Feliz and Varo, they seem to think he can be even more of a special talent than Galvez, despite the current high strikeout totals.

Russell said...

Paul,
Do you think after the July 2 International Signing date you could do a quick rundown on the signings and the International operation as a whole, maybe focusing on the club's efforts in Asia, Venezuela and the DR? I've read all the articles on the new training center, but I'm pretty ignorant, and I suspect many other fans are as well, as to how teams identify players and potential signees overseas.

deathlydemise666 said...

It really hit me when I heard(this off-season) that the Padres have tried to sign Japanese players out of High School. Seeing as how big High School Baseball is in Japan.

Is there a kind of collusion working against us to keep these kids out of the MLB pipeline and dedicate them to the Japanese leagues?

I see it as a possible reason why the Yankees and Red Sox have been so aggressive in signing Japanese players and why were attempting to tap into that market.

ross said...

Paul. Brett Tomko? Really?

I understand that the padres are putting themselves in the position to move a starting pitcher or 2 but I can't help but think that the roster slot couldn't be better used on someone with some upside.

On another front, I heard on the radio that Allan Dykstra has a hip condition. I haven't been able to find anything about this online, would you care to comment on what exactly is wrong with him and how it affects his signing.

It seems like a lot of padres draft picks have had medical issues (ie Tim Stauffer). It makes me wonder what kind of physical examinations kids go through before the draft. It seems like draft picks with health problems could be easily avoided.

Paul DePodesta said...

russell,

I'll definitely do a recap after the July 2nd signing date. Hopefully we'll have some good things to report as we did last year.

Paul DePodesta said...

denis,

Rymer Liriano is a 6'0", 210 lb outfielder from the Dominican who hits and throws right-handed. Rymer just turned 17 ten days ago, so he is still very young for the league.

In short, the ball jumps off of Rymer's bat. As you mentioned, he already has four homers (and 10 total extra base hits) in 88 ab's in the DSL, which is rare power in that league.

His biggest short-coming at this point is the strikeout totals, as he has struck out 45 times in 102 pa's. The bad news is that is a lot of k's. The good news is that Rymer is slugging .860 on balls in play - when he hits it, he hits it hard.

Fortunately, Rymer also has drawn 14 walks, which is a high total. We believe that many of the strikeouts are a function of him trying his best to learn our approach of disciplined aggression. The power and the walks have already shown up, so as he matures, gets accustomed to the high level pitching and the k's decrease, his production could be monstrous.

There is no doubt that he's a very exciting (and young) prospect as well.

Incidentally, a note to all of the other readers - Denis Savage probably knows as much or more about the Padres' minor leagues than anyone not actually in our minor leagues. He does a terrific job of following our clubs, so if you see his name out there in the blogosphere, he's definitely worth reading!

Steve Adler said...

Paul,

This is off subject, however just something to throw out. As you very well know AL lineups are built different than NL lineups.

When the Pads travel to AL ball parks I think instead of bringing in our best bench option we should look at the AAA team. Try and bring up a slugger for the road trip. Obviously the bench is not often utlized in these games, so having guys that can come in to double switch isn't a big priority.

We need some guys that can actually slug. The AL teams DH is typically a middle of the lineup hitter, which puts us at a major disadvantage.

Your thoughts?

Tom said...

Why would you even sign Dykstra this year? Since this draft wasn't really that strong, the chance of getting an equal or better talent next year are probably pretty good. Why take the chance on Dykstra's injury history when you don't lose anything by not signing him?