Texas Rangers promote top prospect Joey Gallo

Texas Rangers prospected Joey Gallo chases a base runner in a fielding drill during spring training.
Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images

By Travis Koch

The countdown is near an end. Joey Gallo will make his Texas Rangers debut in front of the home crowd tonight against the Chicago White Sox. Gallo is the #9 ranked prospect according to MLB.com, and the Rangers #1 prospect. The Rangers have anticipated Gallo’s debut for a while now, but felt he needed some more time to develop in the minors and that he would not be promoted unless the situation was dire. With Adrian Beltre’s thumb injury sidelining him for at least two weeks, the club decided now would be a good time to get the prospect’s feet wet in the Major Leagues.

Of course the promotion is bittersweet. Texas loses their cleanup hitter (and arguably best hitter) with Beltre out to get a glimpse at the prized prospect. The good news is Adrian Beltre will be back soon, so why not give Rangers fans another player to get excited about.

Tonight’s debut will not be Gallo’s first claim to fame. The 21-year-old prospect made his initial mark on the baseball world during last year’s All-Star Futures Game at Target Field in Minnesota. Gallo caught the eyes of the nation when he put on a batting practice clinic prior to the game, which included a home run that broke the windshield of a car. Keep in mind, Target Field is not like Dodgers Stadium where there is only one level of seats beyond an ordinary outfield wall. Target Field has a 23 feet high wall in right field, followed by an entire level of seating and a walking area behind it. Yes, the ball Gallo hit surpassed all of that, before its path was finally disrupted by a car’s windshield.

But anyone can hit a batting practice fastball, what can Joey Gallo do in an actual game against elite pitching? Well, he decided to follow up his batting practice performance with a 420 foot home run in the actual game. Among baseball’s premier young talent, Gallo stole the show that weekend, receiving even more attention than Kris Bryant, the Cubs top prospect at that time. Bryant has made his splashdown into the big leagues, now it’s Gallo’s turn.

The highly coveted prospect will have the chance to prove himself during Beltre’s absence, but only during Beltre’s absence. Gallo will be with the club for a couple of weeks, and then the Rangers will send him back down, probably to Triple A. Texas currently lacks a long-term roster spot for Gallo. Beltre will inhabit third base for at least the next two years, and with Josh Hamilton and Shin-Soo Choo hitting the way they have been, there is really no immediate need for Gallo, outside of the Beltre injury. Of course everything I just said will be a wash if Gallo were to hit .500 with five home runs over the next two weeks, but that’s just how baseball goes. It is likely Gallo will not be a mainstay until at least September, or maybe even next season.

Without a doubt, it is an exciting time to be a Texas Rangers fan. First with elite prospect Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzales throwing up a blank in his Major League debut, and then the long-lost hero in Josh Hamilton hitting a walk-off double against the Boston Red Sox. Now they get the chance to see the Rangers most hyped up prospect. The future is bright in Texas, especially for Joey Gallo.

 

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