Joey Gallo made a smashing big-league debut last June when he was called up to replace the injured Adrian Beltre.
In that game, he hit a tape-measure homer, missed a second homer by inches and drove in four runs in a blowout win for the Rangers. With that, the Gallo hype took over DFW.
About a month later, he'd fallen into a horrible funk filled with strikeouts and was sent down to Triple-A after skipping straight from Double-A to the bigs.
This year, his long-time minor-league teammate, Nomar Mazara, got a similar unexpected promotion, and he's not looking back.
The outfielder, who just turned 21 a couple of weeks ago, is the youngest player in the big leagues and is off to a monster start. He's batting .314 in 28 games with three doubles, four homers and 12 RBIs. Perhaps as impressive is his 11 walks, which has his on-base percentage at .371, which shows impressive approach and plate discipline for such a young hitter.
It's pretty much decided now that Mazara is never going back to the minors, even when Shin-Soo Choo returns from the disabled list very soon.
Gallo said he knew from the get-go Mazara wouldn't be back to Triple-A Round Rock to play with him and the next time they saw a field together would be in Arlington, whenever Gallo is recalled.
“I just looked at the guy next to me and was like, ‘He ain’t coming back,’ ” Gallo told the Star-Telegram Thursday at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. “He’s too advanced. He’s a really smart, intelligent guy. He just gets it. The moment’s never too big. He’s a freak. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with. I just want to be up there with him.”
The Rangers are quickly finding all of that out.