Veteran infielders Maikel Franco and Freddy Galvis have been off to a hot start for the Orioles this April
This offseason, the Baltimore Orioles made a handful of signings, two of which addressed the team’s holes at shortstop and third base. The Orioles signed Freddy Galvis to a one-year deal in January to plug in at shortstop and Maikel Franco in March to handle third base.
Maikel Franco and Freddy Galvis are 8 and 9-year MLB veterans, respectively, and previously shared the left side of an infield in Philadelphia from 2014 until 2017. So far to begin this season, both have been hitting significantly better than their career averages, as Franco and Galvis continue to improve their ratios throughout April.
In 66 plate appearances, Maikel Franco is slashing .254/.333/.424, hitting 19% above league average according to wRC+. Along with strong hitting, Franco is walking at a higher rate than he has in any previous season in his career, earning free passes at a 10.6% clip. Franco’s 14 RBI leads Orioles hitters so far this season, which pairs with a .429 average when batting with runners on base.
On the other end, Freddy Galvis is slashing .245/.310/.415 with 59 plate appearances so far this season. Although Galvis struggled right out of the gate with strikeouts, going down via the strikeout at an alarming 38.2% through the team’s first 8 games, he has been capable of settling in recently and making solid contributions at the plate for Baltimore. In his last 8 games, Galvis has struck out just 3 times, swinging his way into a very strong 1.253 OPS over that span.
With the Orioles’ expected heavy hitters off to a slow start to begin the season, the offensive outbursts from Galvis and Franco have proven to be crucial in keeping the Orioles in ballgames this season. If this kind of contribution from the two veteran infielders continues once the rest of the lineup finds its groove, Baltimore’s bats could present a threat to any pitching staff in baseball.