MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 13: Joey Gallo of the U.S. Team celebrates after hitting a home run against the World Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Target Field on July 13, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Not since Josh Hamilton’s epic Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium in 2008 have the Rangers produced a more impressive and memorable All-Star performance.
Too bad it’ll be at least another year before Joey Gallo’s powerful blossom will keep them from stinking.
Gallo, a 20-year-old third baseman recently promoted to Class AA Frisco, wowed fans at Minneapolis’ Target Field during batting practice, then capped his day with a mammoth two-run homer that helped the U.S. win the All-Star Futures Game and landed him MVP honors.
Adrian Beltre is the Rangers’ third baseman of the present and Prince Fielder is their first baseman of the future. So here’s hoping Gallo isn’t the Rangers’ next Chris Davis, a powerful prospect whose prolific strikeouts keep him from reaching his enormous potential in Arlington.
No doubt Gallo has the left-handed pop to be a game-changer in the Majors. During batting practice one of his blasts cracked the windshield of a promotional vehicle parked more than 440 feet from home plate and his 6th-inning, game-winning blast traveled 419. And this year in a combined 85 games at Class A and AA he has 31 homers and 73 RBI.
The only Kryptonite, like it was for Davis, is strikeouts. Last year at Rookie and Class he fanned 172 with only 50 walks. But this year he’s adding some plate discipline, striking out only 113 times to 65 walks. And he appears on his way to topping the minor-league leading 40 homers he hit last year.
In a season full of disappointment, Gallo’s All-Star performance is a breath of fresh air. And his arrival to Arlington can’t get here soon enough.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.