Rookie Joey Gallo, arguably the most hyped Rangers prospect to come along since the days of Pudge Rodriguez in the early 1990s, gave the team and its fans another glimpse of just how special he can be on Monday night in Baltimore.
With the bases full, Gallo roped a shot to the right field wall and raced around the bases for a three-run triple — the first triple of his big-league career. It showed that he isn't only a power phenom, but he's also a tremendous athlete in the mold of a Josh Hamilton in his prime — the build of an NFL tight end with elite baseball speed.
Gallo's month in the bigs has been exciting — full of tape measure homers as well as head-shaking strikeouts.
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Gallo was supposed to be up for the duration of Adrian Beltre's DL stint, which has now come and gone. Josh Hamilton's DL stint allowed him to get time in the outfield, as well. With Hamilton set to return on Tuesday, the Rangers could send Gallo down to make room for Hamilton, but that's not what they should do.
Delino DeShields is set to play in the outfield for the first time on Tuesday in a rehab game with Round Rock after he's been the team's designated hitter a couple of times, and the thought is that the Rangers' speedy rookie will be ready to go by the end of this week. That's when Gallo should be sent down to further his progression as a hitter at the Triple-A level, where he's never played.
There's talk the Rangers could keep Gallo up and send struggling vet Leonys Martin down to try to rediscover his swing. But here's the thing: When Hamilton and DeShields are back, they're both starting in the outfield, and so is Shin-Soo Choo.
It'd be an awful idea to have Gallo as the team's fourth outfielder and as a utility platoon type guy. We saw what happened the last time the Rangers did that with a top prospect, and his name is Jurickson Profar.
Gallo needs to play every day, no questions asked. Martin can be the club's fourth outfielder and actually offers plus defense as a late game defensive replacement in center field. Gallo is still a work in progress in the outfield and is a natural corner infielder. If Martin is sent down, it likely means Hamilton will be the team's everyday center fielder, which he'd be on board with, but it'd likely be another Hamilton injury waiting to happen.
Gallo has made his splash and he'll definitely be back sooner rather than later and be a star for the Rangers for a long time to come, but the time is coming soon for him to go play every day in the minors, so just accept it.