This will be a day long remembered: the Texas Rangers have promoted Joey Gallo to the major league roster to replace injured veteran Adrian Beltre. The promotion is expected to be short-term, designed to cover for the temporary absence of Beltre and to give Gallo a brief taste of the majors.
Drafted in the compensation round in 2012 from high school in Las Vegas, Gallo was hitting .314/.425/.636 in 121 at-bats for Frisco in the Double-A Texas League, with nine homers, 24 walks, and 49 strikeouts. Gallo has prodigious power, definitely an 80 on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. He has 113 minor league career home runs in 330 games. To put that in context, that's 55 homers per 162 games.
Questions for Gallo revolve around his very high strikeout rate and his defense. Contact is always going to be an issue here, although his strikeout rates have declined slightly with experience and he's shown some ability to adapt. His walk rates aren't bad and he's made good progress cleaning up his swing, which was somewhat messy two years ago in Low-A. He's not going to hit .300 in the majors but he's made enough progress that .250 is plausible, with a reasonable OBP and outstanding power.
Although Gallo's bat understandably draws most of the attention, his defense at third base is much better than it was when he came into pro ball. His arm is quite strong, he shows more mobility than your typical 6-5, 230 pounder, and his error rates have steadily declined as he's refined his footwork and throwing. In my view his defense is under-rated.
Lone Star Ball, SB Nation's Texas Rangers community, has some good stuff regarding Gallo today. That includes these observations from Tepid Participation, who has seen Gallo play many times:
At the plate, he likes it low and really uncorks when ahead in the count. He has power to all fields and the natural motion in his swing generates ridonkulous backspin that enables his ball to carry really, really well. He's worked hard to get shorter and get around on inside pitches, but there's still a bit of a hole there. Same with up. A guy who can really consistently spot his FB up and in might give Joey fits. His arms are so long and powerful though, if given the chance to get them extended, he can do megatons of damage. Joey's defense at 3B has improved significantly over the last couple of years, primarily as a result of his dogged determination to stay at the position. . . He has a potential double-plus arm. . .his hands are soft enough and he comes in on the ball well for a guy his size.
If you are looking for a comp, imagine a player who hits like a cross between Adam Dunn and Giancarlo Stanton, but who also has a workable glove at third base. That's what Gallo can be.