Just in case you have been living under a rock for the last couple of days, the long awaited, and debated, debut of Kris Bryant occurred last night. The Chicago Cubs wunderkind, the player that is being counted on to lead the franchise back to relevance and end a curse bestowed upon the team due to a goat. Yes, according to Cubs lore, a goat has kept them out of the World Series since 1945, which may speak volumes as to why this team is referred to as the “Lovable Losers.”
With Bryant’s arrival as the knight in shining armor so desperately needed on the North Side of the city, it is time to wonder when the Texas Rangers own power hitting third baseman, Joey Gallo, will make his anticipated debut. Unlike Bryant, who was kept in the minors due to concerns over service time and a desire to squeeze one more season of team control despite Scott Boras’ hypocritical rantings about the sanctity of the game, there was virtually no question that Gallo would be in the minors to start the year.
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While Gallo’s injury, that expectation became a certainty.However, he is expected to be back soon, given the initial three week time frame. Once he is back on the field, Gallo will be looking to build upon a season that saw him punish baseballs and launch them into orbit, resulting in a .271/.394/.615 batting line with 42 home runs across two minor league stops.
Even with this injury, it is anticipated that Joey Gallo will make his appearance at some point around the middle of the season. After all, a player with that much power, who could help turn around the fortunes of a franchise, can only be kept in the minor leagues for so long. Yes, there is the fact that Adrian Beltre is blocking Gallo at the major league level, but with the designated hitter, there are plenty of ways to work around that and get Gallo in the lineup.
Even though Gallo is not looked upon as the savior that Kris Bryant is, fans of the Texas Rangers are still awaiting his arrival with bated breath. The problem is, if Bryant comes up and has a truly torrid start, those same expectations may be thrust upon Gallo as well.
Joey Gallo, for all of his power potential, was being sent to the minors because he is still a work in progress. He struck out 115 times in 290 plate appearances at the AA level last season. Gallo is going to need to cut down on that strikeout rate to have sustained success in the majors, and when he begins his season at Frisco, prove he can hit better than the .232/.334/.524 batting line that he produced.
Joey Gallo, barring injury or an unforeseen collapse, will make his debut at some point this season for the Texas Rangers. While both are powerful young third basemen, let us not compare him with Kris Bryant, and simply evaluate Gallo with reasonable expectations based on his minor league history.