Texas Rangers: Team’s Patience With Joey Gallo Paying Off?

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 12: Joey Gallo
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 12: Joey Gallo /

Joey Gallo is always going to be one of the best minor league prospects in Texas Rangers history. The 2012 first-round draft pick was in and out of Arlington in 2015 and 2016 and he was struggling. However, the Rangers had no plans of giving up on him quickly. This season has been different. In fact, Gallo has been on the main roster since Opening Day and he’s playing well. Is the patience finally paying off?

It was doubted Joey Gallo would be on the main roster for Opening Day. However, starting third basemen Adrian Beltre was placed on the disabled list, so Gallo filled in. No doubt, everyone thought he’d be optioned to AAA Round Rock once Beltre was reinstated. Instead, the Texas Rangers decided he played well enough to stay in Arlington, so they kept him in the majors.

It’s been a roller coaster season for Gallo. He’s struggled for most of the season. Not long ago, his batting average was the lowest in the American League and his strikeout percentage was the highest. The 23-year-old talent is playing his first full season of baseball. He’s going to struggle. But the important thing is that he’s learning. In any case, he’s going to keep learning, allowing him to improve. Gallo’s yet to be in his prime.

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Gallo is currently batting .207. Playing in 99 games, he has 63 hits. He has struck out 136 times this season. Striking out is his biggest struggle this season. His 136 strikeouts rank him fourth in the league. However, he’s blasted 29 home runs, which puts him sixth in the league and fourth in the American League.

As far as the Rangers patience on him goes, it is working in a sense. Gallo’s rough season this year is normal for a young guy who’s learning. Struggling is part of the learning process, so it’s normal. You struggle, you learn, and you get better.

The bottom line is that the Rangers have no choice but to be patient with Gallo. Rushing him will not allow him to learn and improve. Gallo is learning and the Rangers are seeing that he’s getting somewhere. The number of homers he’s hit is proof of his improvement. At the moment, his focus of improvement is decreasing his number of striking out.