Joey Gallo: First MLB game, Expectations with the Rangers

Joey Gallo making his Major League debut after being called up from the Frisco Roughriders. Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
Joey Gallo making his Major League debut after being called up from the Frisco Roughriders.
Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

By  Stephen Elliott

The Texas Rangers purchased the contract of their number one prospect Joey Gallo from AA Frisco Roughriders on Monday, June 1.

MLB’s ninth rank prospect made his first start Tuesday going 3-4 with a home run and a triple shy of the cycle. His four RBIs were the most by a Ranger rookie debut. Gallo talked about his first professional game.

“I didn’t expect it to be like this, but I’m extremely excited that it is…it was good to get that first game under my belt,” Gallo said as Elvis drenched him with a Gatorade bath.

The Rangers called up Gallo after Adrian Beltre injured his thumb that will sideline the All-Star third basemen for at least two weeks.

Gallo is batting .344 with nine home runs and a .636 slugging percentage in 34 games at Frisco. If these numbers transition to the majors, it will be tough to put him back down to the minors when Beltre recovers from his injury. Jon Daniels says that’s a problem they are more than happy to deal with.

“I hope we’re in that spot. That the team is playing well and Joey puts us in position to have to make that call. We expect Joey to go back down and we’ve told Joey that as well.”

What to expect from the young Gallo?
It will not be that easy to send him back down if he produces with the monster numbers he has been putting together in his four seasons in the minors. Expect to see a lot of hard hit balls with more than a few heading into the stands. His slugging and his on base percentage will be high because he has patient at bats and when he gets hits it rarely dumps in front of the outfielder for a single.

However, expect to see the normal struggles that you see from young players. The strikeouts will be high and the timely hitting will not be at the same level as Beltre’s clutch hitting (do not take that for granted). Beltre also has the leg up in fielding as he is one of the best defensive infielders in the game.

Most important thing to consider is this is not a permanent stay. As Daniels said, the Rangers expect Beltre to fill right back in when he is 100 percent health. Gallo is only 21 and Daniels and company want him to play everyday at the minor league level to continue to improve. The Rangers know having Gallo sitting on the bench at the major league level will hamper his development. Just take this as a sneak peek for what is to come in near future for Joey Gallo and the Texas Rangers.

Watch Joey Gallo’s first MLB home run.