Texas Rangers: Will Joey Gallo Continue This Impressive Run?
By Andrew Webb
After two rough stints with the Rangers, third baseman Joey Gallo is finally making an impact on the big league roster. He’s been a huge contributor on offense, but will it continue?
The door opened for Texas Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo after veteran slugger Adrian Beltre went down with a right calf injury. Originally the Rangers thought Beltre would only be down for a week or two, but there is no timetable in sight.
The good news is that Gallo has capitalized on his opportunity and has likely earned himself a spot even when Beltre returns. As of Thursday, Gallo is hitting .232 with seven home runs and 16 RBI in 22 games.
The biggest problem for Gallo was the lack of walks and his enormous strikeout rate. This season has been better as he’s walked 12 times with 27 strikeouts, so there’s room for improvement, but better than last season.
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According to T.R. Sullivan, Rangers manager Jeff Banister had this to say about Gallo this season. “[He has] just the complete game really and has been that way,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “We talked about his defense, we talked about the baserunning, the presence of mind on defense and being engaged at the plate and putting really good swings. When he does chase, it doesn’t affect him. He gets right back in there. Again, that’s all Joey, the work that he has put in. He’s the guy that needs to be complimented on everything.”
One of the most notable changes for Gallo was his mindset. This spring he decided to stop letting the hype get to him and just focus on his game. At first many thought this was just talk, but Gallo seems like a new man at the plate.
“Yeah … been doing it pretty well,” Gallo said. “Just focusing on it as a game. Go out and play the game. If a pitcher throws a ball to me, I try to hit it. If it’s a ground ball, I try to field it and throw to first and help the team win and go home. I’ve had some days I didn’t feel good and struck out a few times, and I’ve said, ‘OK, that’s baseball, come out tomorrow, same approach, same plan.'”
“I feel different,” Gallo said. “I think I’m a little more confident, I’m starting to believe in my stuff now. Starting to believe I can hit up here and play up here. It’s the same game, just a different level. I think the years before prepared for me that, some failures. I’ve learned a lot.”
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The Rangers expect Beltre to return at some point, but Gallo will likely still have a spot regardless. Right now Gallo is looking strong even though he still has more to work on and improve. Rangers fan are hopeful this trend continues, and Gallo believes it will.