By Dylan MacKinnon
Expectations were high coming into this season for Alec Bohm. He was arguably deserving of Rookie of the Year in 2020. His glove needed a lot of work, but his bat looked like it belonged at the MLB level. But his sophomore season has not gone as planned. Not only has his fielding been a problem, but the bat has not been there either.
His batting average has hovered around .250, his on base percentage has been around .300. Most notably, his power has been non existent, with a slugging percentage of only .353. That is only the 128th best SLG% in the league. Its well below average. In 101 games he has only 21 extra base hits.
But more importantly, he has been a liability in the field. He has 15 errors, the most of any third basemen. His dWar of -.9 is the worst among qualified third basemen. Also his range factor is the 2nd worst. By almost any metric you use to evaluate fielding, he is either worst, or close to the worst, at his position. You can maybe put up with that were he making up for it with his bat. Rhys Hoskins is in a similar spot fielding wise. As in he may just be the worst fielding 1st Baseman in the league. But he is also slugging over .500, and leads the team in doubles, homeruns, and RBIs. And it is also easier to put up with bad fielding at 1st than at 3rd.
So the problem is Alec Bohm actively hurts you with his glove, and has to this point done nothing to help you with his bat. Even now that he has been hitting for a higher average the last couple months, he is still only hitting singles. Enter new acquisition Freddy Galvis.
When the Phillies first acquired him I thought, why? It was nice to see him back in a Phillies uniform, but there didn’t really seem to be a place for him. All the infield sports felt entrenched, and Ronald Torreyes has been a minor bright spot as far as Utility Infielders go. But after watching more of Alec Bohm butcher the ball at 3rd, I know where Galvis should play, 3rd base.
I am not saying Galvis would come in and be a star, but he can certainly field a baseball. Phillies won a World Series with Pedro Feliz at 3rd, a player who is fairly comparable to Galvis. But what may surprise you, is that Galvis has also been a better hitter this year than Bohm.
Galvis has played in 28 fewer games.— Dylan MacKinnon (@DylanFMackinnon) August 7, 2021
Bohm XBH- 20
Galvis XBH- 22
Bohm did hit a double yesterday, so the XBHs are up to 21, but still. Galvis, who is not necessarily a great or even good hitter, has out hit Bohm, while playing in less games. Galvis’s oWar is 1.1, Bohm’s is .5. And almost any number you look at besides RBIs tell the same story, Galvis has made a bigger impact with his bat than Bohm has, and he had been playing in a worse lineup.
I like Bohm. I want him to get back to where he was last year. But right now he is not helping this team. In fact he is hurting it. Galvis would be an upgrade in every aspect of the game.. With the Phillies locked in a division race, with a chance to make the playoffs for the first time in a decade, they need their best players on the field. And despite not being the best of players himself, Freddy Galvis will be their best player at 3rd base. He has a much better glove, and so far this year his bat has been better too.
It is also worth noting that one of the Phillies top pitcher’s, Kyle Gibson, is a heavy ground ball pitcher. It is hard for ground ball pitcher’s to have success with bad fielding. Phillies already have bad fielding at 1st and SS, they cant afford bad fielding in Gibson starts at 3 out of the 4 infield spots. Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer made the same argument when he joined The Tyrone Johnson Show on Saturday.
"You saw it last night, Bohm made an error. That's going to happen. That's not getting any better... For me, if I know my pitcher is a ground ball pitcher, I'm starting my premiere defenders."- Breen on the Phillies infield defense— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) August 7, 2021
I am not saying bench Bohm entirely, but Galvis should get the bulk of the starts at 3rd. They can not afford to have Hoskins, Gregorius, and Bohm all in the same infield and expect to win at a high level. Hoskins bat is too valuable to take out. You could maybe make a similar argument for Gregorius as I have for Bohm, but his bat has been better than Bohm’s.
Hopefully Bohm’s bat wakes up. And if it does, and he is hitting like he did in 2020, it would be worth dealing with his bad fielding. But until that happens, they can not sacrifice the infield defense just to have a guy who only hits singles in the lineup. Galvis is the better option right now. He should play.