Should the Rangers Trade Joey Gallo?
Earlier today MLB Network Radio tweeted that Jim Bowden of ESPN thinks that the Texas Rangers should trade third baseman Joey Gallo to the San Diego Padres for catcher Austin Hedges.
As you can imagine the Twittersphere went berserk. How dare anyone suggest the Texas Rangers deal the 21-year old prized prospect?! Joey Gallo, recently named the Tom Grieve Player of the Year, set a new Texas minor league single-season home run record with 42. Who is Austin Hedges anyway? Would he better than Gallo? What is Jim Bowden thinking?!
I’m not the biggest Joey Gallo fan, but even I was upset over this trade suggestion. Calm down, I didn’t say Gallo isn’t talented, he is. I know how great his potential is. We can move on now, yes? Yes.
My curiosity got the best of me as I read the tweets from those who are knowledgeable in the Rangers farm system and the minor leaguers in general: Tepid Participation of Lone Star Ball, Scott Lucas and Jamey Newberg of Newberg Report. So, I was left with only one logical solution go to Baseball-Reference.com and look at the stats.
Austin Hedges started 106 games behind the dish for San Antonio Missions (AA) in the Texas League (TL), batting .225 with 6 home runs (96-427) and an OPS of .589. The 22-year old, who had 80 assists with 15 errors, was named starter for the Texas League South Division Mid-Season All-Star Team, and the fourth-best prospect in the TL by Baseball America.
Call to the Pen
Now, let’s compare Hedges’ to Gallo using the same stats.
Joey Gallo spent the season with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A+) and the Frisco RoughRiders (AA), batting .271 (119-439) with 42 home runs and an OPS of 1.009. Gallo spent most of the season at third base having made 19 errors and 221 assists. Baseball America named him the best prospect in the Texas League, and he earned a spot on their Minor League Baseball All-Star Team.
Again, I’m not the biggest Gallo fan, but I don’t think this is a trade the Texas Rangers are willing to risk. I say risk because Gallo is improving his skills at third base and this could be Adrian Beltre‘s last season. (Goodness, I don’t even want to think about that!) It would be a lot cheaper for the Rangers to stick with Gallo, moving him up to Triple-A letting him continue to hone his skills at third and be more patient at the plate, than to trade for a not-so-jaw-dropping-catcher. Which is what Austin Hedges appears to be, so far.
So, for now we should all keep a clear head and not take Bowden’s suggestion too seriously. After all, Jim Bowden proposed this trade while on the Fitzsimmons & Durrett Show on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM in June 2013
"Texas trades Justin Grimm, Jorge Alfaro, Lewis Brinson and Joey Gallo — I know it’s hard to trade Gallo — they go to the Chicago White Sox for Jake Peavy and Alex Rios. Rios goes to play left field. Peavy goes into the rotation with Darvish. Of course the deal can’t be done until Peavy’s ribs are completely healed and he’s 100 percent, so the deal doesn’t happen until mid to late July but now you get a starter at the top of the rotation to help, now you get a big bat in Rios who has done it a year and a half now consistently.” (via Dallas Morning News)"
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