Lone Star Dugout Video: Joey Gallo (6/30)
Coming out of powerhouse Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, third baseman Joey Gallo was well known for his massive raw power. A potential middle-of-the-order bat with elite raw power is hard to come by in the draft these days, and that was what enticed the Rangers to select Gallo with the 39th overall pick in this year's MLB Draft.
The third baseman entered the draft as one of the nation's top high school position prospects, but he slipped all the way to the supplemental first round. Because he fell and had signed a letter of intent to play collegiately at Louisiana State University, the Rangers needed an above-slot $2.25 million signing bonus––more than $925,000 over slot value––to sign him.
Gallo's raw power has been on display early in the summer with the rookie-level Surprise Rangers. Through his first 16 professional games, the 6-foot-5 left-handed hitting slugger has a .294/.486/.804 slash line. He leads the league in both home runs (seven) and walks (19).
The 18-year-old prospect has serious present strength for his age, and he's also got an advanced eye at the plate. There's still plenty of room for his swing to improve––perhaps the primary reason that he dropped to the supplemental round––and he's struck out 15 times in those 16 games. But still, Gallo has been arguably the best hitter in the Arizona League thus far.
For the most part, Gallo is squaring up on the strikes that he sees. But he's also not seeing many strikes––walking more than once per game on average––and Surprise Rangers manager Corey Ragsdale says that's got a lot to do with his staggering raw power.
"It's tough," Ragsdale said in a recent interview. "I don't know how many kids his age could go through what he's going through and still be able to put it together on a nightly basis. He's getting 2-0 changeups.
"Don't misunderstand this––it's not like these kids down here are big leaguers. But he's getting pitched like he's a Barry Bonds-type hitter. When he comes up to the plate, they're throwing three or four balls up there. If he swings, he swings."
The full interview transcript with Ragsdale, which includes much more on Gallo, can be seen at this link.
An interview with Gallo from the same day can be found here.
An in-depth scouting report on Gallo and his Arizona League teammates will also be posted (and linked here) in the coming days.
The following video, which includes Gallo taking ground balls, batting practice, and game at-bats, was taken from Surprise Rangers workouts and games between June 27 and 30.
Gallo's first at-bat (groundout to second) comes against the Surprise Royals. He singled to right-field off Padres supplemental first-round pick Zach Eflin in the second plate appearance. The other at-bats are as follows––groundout to first (Padres), flyout to right field (vs. A's prospect Michael Ynoa), double to right field (A's) and home run down the right field line (A's).
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