For nearly two years, there had been much talk about this rumored, and nearly mythical, Joey Gallo. He made quite the name for himself in the minor leagues, hitting at least 40 home runs in the 2013 and 2014 season, and becoming the hero of last year’s Future’s Game.
Then, thanks to a multitude of injuries just over a fourth of the way through the season, Gallo got the call up to Arlington from Frisco, putting him in the limelight for the entire country to see. Gallo actually got off to a great start with the big league club, ripping a 2-run hit in his first plate appearance and then hitting a 2-run home run the next time up. It got even better when he sent a gigantic blast over the wall in Dodger Stadium against Clayton Kershaw.
But the fun in the majors ran out Tuesday, with Gallo being sent to Triple-A, a level in which he has yet to play, in order to make room for Josh Hamilton. And that’s really the best thing that can happen for Gallo at this point in time.
During the month’s time he was with the Rangers, Gallo showed a lot of positives to look forward, especially the long ball, but there were also numerous areas to worry about, particularly the strikeouts. It seems that in the majors Gallo was very much hit or miss. Either he sent the ball a very long way or he was headed back to the dugout with nothing to show for it. In 87 at bats, Gallo struck out 43 times. According to High Heat Stats MLB, Gallo has the second-most strikeouts through his first 25 games in MLB history, just behind Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs. That is one thing that Gallo has to work on during his time in Round Rock.
Most strikeouts, first 25 career games: Javier Baez 46 JOEY GALLO 43 Giancarlo Stanton 41 Brett Jackson 39 George Springer 39
— High Heat Stats MLB (@HighHeatStats) June 30, 2015
And Triple-A is the perfect spot for him to work on getting better and more consistent at the plate. Gallo missed this step in his climb through the ranks, getting the call straight up from Double-A Frisco. At this level, there’s not quite the pressure that comes along with being with the big league team, yet the talent here is only just barely below the major league level. That means Gallo will still go up very good talent while trying to work through those issues at the plate, as well as some issues at third base and in the outfield.
Now, a very good argument can be made to move outfielder Leonys Martin down to Round Rock instead of Gallo. Martin has struggled heavily, batting just .222 and not looking very good at all.
But at the same time, Martin is a much better outfielder and has a great arm in center that makes third base coaches think about sending the runner home. That, and Martin is also more of a natural outfielder. Finally, you have to bank more on the future with Gallo than Martin, so sending him down is the right move.
Overall, Gallo had a really good start to his major league career and there are certainly signs that he can be the Rangers future. But a trip to Round Rock is the correct move for his career going into the future.