NEW BRITAIN - You would never expect a hitter near the bottom of the lineup to be one of your most productive. But that’s been the case this season with the New Britain Bees and Jonathan Galvez.
The Lawrence, Mass., native typically hits in the sixth or seventh spot in the batting order, but Galvez’s numbers look like those of a hitter near the top of the lineup. Galvez is batting .283 with seven home runs and 36 RBI, all within the top three on the team.
“I just want to compete every single game,” Galvez said. “I just try to do my best to help the team win some games. That is the No. 1 thing.”
Bees manager Wally Backman said one key point in Galvez’s season was a minor swing change early on.
“[Galvez] actually struggled early in the year,” Backman said. “He’s really gotten hot of late. We made some changes in his setup - gave him a little bit of a leg kick, where he used to be double tapping. Since then, he’s really taken off.”
The manager said he was excited to have Galvez on the team because he had seen him play as a minor leaguer in the Padres, Yankees and Mets farm systems.
“He’s a really good hitter,” Backman said. “He played against me in Triple-A. I really like the way he plays. He plays hard. He gives you everything he’s got. He really wants to win. And he takes instruction very well, so he’s easy to coach.”
Backman’s feeling of Galvez clearly goes both ways. Having spent the last three seasons with the Bridgeport Bluefish, the manager has helped Galvez make the transition to playing in New Britain.
“For me, I think he’s the best manager I’ve ever had in my career,” Galvez said. “He tries to help everybody every day. He makes you want to do your best for him. He’s a very good person on the field and outside of it.”
As the Bees head into the final three weeks of the season, Galvez is playing some of his best baseball. Thursday night against the Road Warriors, he had two hits, including a three-run homer, which extended his hitting streak to seven games. During that stretch, his batting average has risen nearly 20 points.
“I’ve just been getting good swings on the ball,” Galvez said. “I get good contact and lately, it’s just been finding the holes.”
But he knows that New Britain needs every win it can get down the stretch and he will need to continue doing whatever it takes to help make a playoff push.
“Everybody has to try to do their best,” Galvez said. “This is the most important thing. We have to go out and compete. Sometimes there are things we can’t control, but we have to go out and give it our best.”
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org