Texas Ranger Prospect Watch: Joey Gallo
Prospect Watch: Joey Gallo
Position: Third Base
At age 20, Texas Rangers prospect Joey Gallo is once again terrorizing pitching in the low minor leagues. In just 19 games this season, Gallo has already slugged nine homeruns and driven in 22 for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Rangers high-A minor league affiliate. With his three homeruns on Wednesday, Gallo now has the second most in professional baseball.
Although nineteen games is a relatively small sample size to try and analyze season trends, it is encouraging that Gallo has cut down on his strike out rate tremendously from the last few years. Since Gallo made his professional debut in 2012, the young slugger has a 34% strike out rate coming into the season. As Scott Lucas of the Newburg Report pointed out, Gallo has improved his contact at the plate and cut down his strike out rate to 25% which is just 3 percentage points higher than the league average at 22%.
Acquired in the first round of the 2012 Draft, Gallo still has a long road ahead of him before the Texas faithful will see him in Arlington. While his power has a tremendous upside, he must continue working on cutting down his strikeout numbers. Also, it wouldn’t be surprising for Gallo to make a position change in the not so distant future. While Gallo has played all but one game at third thus far in his career, his fielding percentage is currently sitting at .915, which would rank him 2nd to last among all Major League third basemen, if he were in big leagues today. At six foot and five inches, Gallo could transition to first base or could always be an option at DH if he continues to be a defensive liability.
At the earliest, it will still be a few years before Gallo before fans have a chance to see Gallo with the Rangers but it is easy to get excited about the potential of him hitting in the middle of the lineup when the next batch of Rangers prospects advance through the farm system. However, if Gallo cannot cut down on his strikeout, he may never fully blossom into the player fans and management want him to be. Baseball writer Peter Ellwood of Paranoid Fan points out an interesting similarity between Gallo and a current MLB slugger.
Joey Gallo now has the second-most HRs in all of baseball. He also has a 18% BB rate and 25% K rate. Adam Dunn’s career = 16% BB% and 28% K%
— Peter Ellwood (@FutureGM) April 24, 2014
Lastly, please enjoy these clips of Gallo going deep in 2013.