By Joey McGraw
The injury bug has turned more into a bad case of the chicken pox that is spreading throughout the entire line up. With Mitch Moreland side lined with reconstructive ankle surgery, the Rangers will have 19 disabled moves for the season. The next closest team has 12. Since the team is trying to stay afloat I wanted to draw attention to something that is brewing in the Rangers farm system.
You will want to start following 20-year old Joey Gallo. Gallo was drafted by the Rangers in the first round with their 39th overall pick of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft. He holds the Nevada high school record with 67 career home runs. Baseball America wrote before the draft that Gallo had the 10th longest home run in Petco Park in San Diego. In high school he was known for his power at the plate but was also just as impressive with his arm. In one playoff game scouts saw him hit 100 on the radar gun. Gallo was said to have been a top ten pick had he stuck with pitching but he wanted to be an everyday player at third base. The reason for falling to the 39th pick was due to the demand of his required signing bonus which was $2.25 million.
In his 2013 season of Low A minor league ball he hit a total of 40 home runs (led all minor leagues) and stole 15 bases in 16 attempts. In a scouting report done by Nathaniel Stoltz from his first full year of minor league ball it highlights some of his opportunities to build on before we see him in Arlington.
Stoltz states, “that Gallo has pure power; this is not some sort of park/league illusion. When he makes contact, the ball simply travels further than it does for other hitters. His swing has issues, namely a huge loading mechanism that helps him generate the extreme power, but mostly compromises his ability to pitch on the inner half of the right-handed pitchers. He doesn’t make adjustments with two strikes. He swings hard all the time. Some notable comparisons are that to a Chris Davis.”
Joey Gallo has recently been promoted to Double A Frisco team. Even though the Rangers power numbers aren’t exactly where they once were, something fun to watch is the home run race. Nelson Cruz has 21 home runs and Joey Gallo has 20 home runs in the minor leagues for the 2014 baseball campaign.
On a side note Joey Gallo grew up playing travel baseball with Nationals All-Star Bryce Harper. As kids Harper would bat 3rd and Gallo would bat 4th in the lineup. According to the Myrtle Beach Sun Times they are still friends and talk on a monthly basis.