SDI Prospect Rankings – #1 Joey Gallo

Rounding out our Prospect list at number one is of course Chris Garia.

Wouldn’t that be a helluva twist?!

No it’s Joey Gallo  professional baseball murderer. The 21-year-old found early success in the bigs until he found out first hand how effective major league scouting reports can be.

Growing up in Las Vegas, Joey grew up playing Little League with Bryce Harper. Back in the day Gallo pitched often and Harper was his catcher. In high school, on a road trip to Canada, Gallo hit triple digits with his fastball and would consistently sit mid-90’s leading most teams to want him as a pitcher.

Because he was so adamant about playing the field, during his pre-draft workouts he would neglect to tell teams when he was throwing his bullpen sessions. The Rangers respected Joey’s wishes and with their supplemental first round pick in 2012 drafted him with the 39th overall pick.

Once drafted, Gallo wasted no time in making a name for himself. In his first professional season he broke the home run record in the Arizona Rookie League by smashing 18 in just 43 games. In his first full season he won the Joe Bauman award and was the first teenager to hit 40 homers since the 80’s. In 2014 Gallo set the world on fire and made that summer the summer of Joey. Ben Lindbergh wrote a Grantland feature on him that summer and I still go back and reread it every once in a while because that’s what I do in my free time.

In June when Adrian Beltre went down unexpectedly, Gallo arrived and once again set the world on fire. I had the joy of witnessing his monstrous debut first hand. This is what he did.

I may or may not have wept. After a week of major league dominance pitchers found the big ole hole in his swing. Anything hard placed up and in tied up Joey like a bowline knot. In non-knotters terms it is to say that he did not hit well.

On the first of July Joey got sent back down to Round Rock where his struggles continued. When he arrived in Round Rock, Gallo tried to fix every problem with his swing at once which led to his AAA struggles.

After another off season in the cages with Jason Giambi it’s likely that the hole in Gallo’s swing has been shrunk. In the past Giambi’s coaching has produced tremendous improvements in Gallo’s swing, I expect this off season’s progress to fall in line with that trend.

Gallo’s inclusion on the 40 man roster grants him an automatic invitation to big league camp where he might make the team out of spring training, or he might not. It won’t change much either way as Gallo will be back in Arlington before long crushing the spirits of pitchers foolish enough to hang him a breaking ball.

Brice Paterik
Brice is a Junior Journalism major at Texas Tech University in pursuit of a career in Sports Journalism. Growing up in Dallas his whole life, Brice has been a Rangers fan since before he batted against a machine. He's a sucker for a high ceiling athletic prospect without a hit tool or 20 year olds who throw 100 mph and can't hit the zone. He over values every prospect and is a hopeless romantic for baseball. She's broken his heart a million times but he will always come back for more.

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