Joey Gallo Is Not Big League Ready

by Collin Budd | Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2015
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Photo Credit: Bill Nichols

Photo Credit: Bill Nichols

Some of the more intriguing story lines from around Spring Training this year have been centered around the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs uber prospects Joey Gallo and Kris Bryant. The pair has each been on their respective team’s radar for a long time as potential difference makers but after they finished first and second overall in the minor leagues in home runs last season, fans of each franchise have been trying to pencil their names into the 2015 lineup ever since. After his sizzling hot start to Spring Training, Bryant will undoubtedly not have to wait very long before he can call himself a major league player; however for Gallo, he has a much longer road ahead.

While Gallo and Bryant were busy terrorizing minor league pitching last year, the more plate appearances the two had the more it stuck out that Gallo just is not big league ready. After his call up from Myrtle Beach to Double-A Frisco, Gallo’s strike out rate skyrocketed as pitchers took advantage of his long swing, jumping his strike out rate from 26% to just under 40%. In addition, his walk percentage fell from 20% to 12% in Frisco. Bryant on the other hand showed an ability to make adjustments and his strike out percentage only raised two points (26% to 28%) during his leap from Double-A to Triple-A and his walk rate remained just about the same. Granted Gallo will never be a player that is expected to hit for a high batting average or become an on base machine, the numbers still reflect that there are some adjustments to make in his game.

While General Manager Jon Daniels has not publicly ruled out the possibility of Gallo joining the Rangers when the team breaks camp, it is interesting to note that Gallo has spent very limited time working in the outfield. With a logjam at both corner infield positions, it would make sense that if Gallo was seen as a realistic possibility of making the club that he may have started working in left field as the team is currently having a tough time deciding as to who will be the starter. Being rumored in the market for a left handed bat, Gallo could have potentially filled both of the Rangers needs.

Gallo is still very young and there is not a need for the team to compromise his future potential by rushing him through his development. While Bryant is establishing himself as an every day player in the major leagues and as he starts to have success, there will be a groundswell of Rangers faithful begging for the call up of Texas’ most prized prospect. However, Gallo will be better served getting at bats in the minor leagues so that when he does one day get his chance to punish baseballs onto the top of Greene’s Hill he will be able to do so with more frequency than ever before.

For now let’s just watch this over and over and over and over…



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Collin Budd
About the Author

Freelance writer covering the MLB since 2011. Senior Writer for Baseball Hot Corner. Lover of all things except spiders and those who believe a hot dog is not a sandwich.

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