W’s that are pronounced like V’s, J’s that are pronounced like H’s, and even silent B’s too (thanks Austin Gomber)! Life was much easier when I was only writing and not podcasting. Now I’m expected to know the intricacies of several languages around the world and have enough knowledge of the derivation of these names to consistently pronounce them correctly. I’m sure I’ve already butchered Wladimir Galindo’s name on the two podcasts I’ve spoken about him (most recently on the Razzball Prospect Podcast: Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds), but luckily for you, I’m only writing about him today.
As a 19-year-old for the entire season at Low-A, Galindo, Chicago Cubs, triple-slashed .243/.337/.462 with 9 homers and an 81/33 K/BB in 66 games. What’s most exciting is the major improvement he made in the second half of the season. From July 28 through the end of the season (33 games) he slashed .273/.389/.504 with 5 homers and a 34/22 K/BB. His strikeout rate improved from 34% in the first half to 23% in the second half and walk rate spiked from 8% to 15%.
6’3’’, 210-pound 19-year-olds (now 20) with plus bat speed and plus raw power who put up those kinds of numbers don’t usually fly this far under the radar. The numbers look even better when you dig deeper. He led the Northwest League with 32 extra-base hits, and did all of this while playing in an extreme pitcher’s park, slashing a paltry .172/.278/.293 at home and .305/.389/.611 on the road. He has also hit well in every year of his career, putting up an OPS of .818 in 2014 (66 games) and .922 in 2015 (19 games). It is not hard to see how a major breakout could be right around the corner, if it hasn’t happened already.
The main question about Galindo, and a major reason why he will never be ranked as high on real life lists as he should be on fantasy lists, is where he will ultimately end up defensively. He is at third base right now, but might end up in a corner outfield spot, or worse, at first base. Regardless, this is an exciting enough bat to play at any position. The other obvious risk is that he is still very far away from the bigs. While Low-A is definitely a step up from Rookie Ball, it still isn’t full season ball, and many consider it a glorified rookie league.
Galindo hasn’t been completely off the radar. I wrote about him back in August in my Week 20 Fantasy Prospect Rundown, John Sickels just ranked him 14th on his Chicago Cubs Top 20, and Baseball America had him 10th on their Northwest League Top 20 (one spot below my boy Heath Quinn). Even with those accolades, I believe he is still being massively underrated, especially in fantasy baseball, and very likely could crack my Top 100 in early February. In his prime, I will give Galindo a projection of 77/24/88/.260/.335/.470/3 with a 2020 ETA, and is someone I would not let fall through the cracks in upcoming prospect drafts.