Ok, its now been a couple weeks since Joey Gallo was assigned to Round Rock of the Pacific Coast League. But my goodness was there a buzz in Texas while he was here.
I have had the opportunity to get to know Joey Gallo on and off the field. Major League Baseball will soon be getting another ambassador of the game joining the likes of Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, Carlos Correa and others. This man is a true gentleman in every sense of the word. Joey Gallo embraces his fans and allows you to be a part this journey. When you see him at a park near you in the future, you can expect to get an autograph or just say a friendly hello and get a response. He is old school and feels he owes it to the game.
On Joey Gallo the player:
Joey hit the big stage following the 2014 Futures Game where he had famously shattered the windshield on a truck sitting in the upper deck during bating practice. He then went out and hit a massive home run and walked away with the MVP award. When he returned to Frisco, there was no change in his demeanor or humility. The only thing he said to me was that game just raised expectations for himself and the fans. He was determined to be the best.
It is rare for a talent like Joey Gallo to come through the Texas League. We have seen some power bats (now this dates me) like Adrian Beltre (San Antonio), Alex Gordon (Wichita), Brandon Wood (Arkansas), Mark Teixeira (Tulsa), Mark Trumbo (Arkansas), Chris Davis (Frisco), Adrian Gonzalez (Frisco), and many others. So what's the difference?
OJoey Gallo possesses legitimate, true 80 power and true plate discipline. His bat stays in the zone and is repeatable. He does not sell out for power and stays on the ball hitting to all fields. He has an advanced and refined approach at the plate where others before him were a work in progress at this stage of their career. Having watched at least 20 batting practices I can tell you he does not have an interest in putting on a show. He has an interest in getting better at his craft.
Joey Gallo made his MLB debut on June 2 of this year and what an exciting day it was. Once the word was out about his promotion, walk up ticket sales skyrocketed and the park was packed. I mentioned earlier about a buzz at the park. I hadn't hear a buzz like that since Nolan Ryan was pitching a no hitter at the old Arlington Stadium or when Ivan Rodriquez came back to Texas and played his first game. It was like fans were seeing the future of this franchise and letting him know he was already loved and appreciated. The script for his performance was written by the baseball gods and he delivered. Did he ever deliver going 3-4 with a HR and four RBI's!
June 29th was his last game as a Ranger for now. He again left us with a taste of his future, a bases clearing triple with three RBI's. The power is real, the want is real, and he is real. Get ready to enjoy the gifts he has been blessed with in baseball and life. The best of Joey Gallo is yet to come!