ARLINGTON, Texas â Joey Gallo wasn’t too stressed out before getting the biggest news of his baseball career.
Gallo stopped by Globe Life Park Monday to get treatment for his left ankle as he was preparing to make the jump from Double-A Frisco to Triple A Round Rock.
He was told to hang around a little while, so Gallo went to get some Chipotle and then hung out at a hotel lobby.
That’s when he got the call from Texas general manager Jon Daniels and farm director Mike Daly that he was going to skip over Round Rock and join the Rangers. Instead of spending his Tuesday in Reno Gallo was batting sixth and playing third for Texas.
"It’s been pretty exciting," said Gallo, 21. "I didn’t really expect to be here, honestly. I was planning on going to Round Rock. I was about to drive down before I got the call so it was a pretty nice surprise."
Gallo isn’t coming to Texas to be a savior, not for a team that’s coming off a 19-win May and is over .500 for the first time since last June. Instead he’s here to hold things down as the team put third baseman Adrian Beltre on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb.
Gallo, who hit a pole in the upper deck in right field during batting practice Tuesday, isn’t going to try and do too much.
"I just want to see how the big leagues are," he said. "Obviously you hear things. For me when I talked to JD (Daniels) I said I want to experience it and actually learn how to play the game in the big leagues instead of going to the minor leagues and saying ‘This is what you get to do in the big leagues.’ You actually get to experience it and know what you need to do."
Gallo, the top prospect in the organization, is a known power commodity with back-to-back 40-homer seasons in 2013 and 2014. He was batting .314 for Frisco with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 34 games before getting the promotion.
While many will have high expectations for Gallo the Rangers are trying to keep things in perspective.
"More than anything else it’s just like every other guy that has come in or been brought up we’re going to ask him to fit in, be a part, you don’t have to be the whole part, just be a player," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "Whatever that player is we’ll accept it and nurture it and culture it. This is really a good atmosphere for a young guy to come up to."
It’s a familiar one too. Gallo spent most of spring in big-league camp with the Rangers and got to know his current teammates. Even Josh Hamilton, who wasn’t in camp with the Rangers, got to play with Gallo when he was rehabbing in Double A.
Gallo made an impression on them after hitting .250 with two home runs and six RBI before going to minor-league camp March 23.
"I’ve seen him a lot in spring training," Beltre said. "I think he’s the real deal. He has a chance to show what he can do in the big leagues and hopefully he can do well and help our ball club win ballgames."