Third baseman Joey Gallo, the top offensive prospect in the Texas Rangers system, is headed to Arlington.
The Rangers will purchase the contract of Gallo from Double-A Frisco and put third baseman Adrian Beltre on the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox.
Gallo was expected to join Triple A Round Rock for their Tuesday series against Reno but that changed after Beltre hurt his left thumb Sunday.
Now he’s expected to get the majority of playing time at third base for the three weeks Beltre is expected to miss.
"He’s uniquely talented," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said of Gallo. "He’s been productive throughout his minor-league career. That being said the big leagues are tough, they’re a challenge. We’re asking to make the jump without time in Triple A. Part of it is we have a really good environment here right now. I want to take advantage of that, talking about the big-league club, the clubhouse, the coaching staff, the veteran players."
Gallo, 21, hit nine home runs for Frisco this year with 31 RBI in 34 games. He started the season on the minor league disabled list after having surgery on his left ankle. In his last game for Frisco Saturday Gallo hit a towering home run to right to take over the homer lead for Frisco.
Gallo was the club’s minor league player of the year in 2014 after hitting 42 home runs between Class A Myrtle Beach and Double A Frisco. That was his second consecutive season with at least 40 homers and he has 113 homers in the minor since 2012.
Beltre sprained the thumb in the fifth inning of Sunday’s game. He won’t try to pick up a bat for at least another 11 days and he has sutures from the four stitches he required still in his hand.
Daniels said that once Beltre is healthy Gallo will likely head back to Triple A.
"There’s not going to be any quarterback controversy," Daniels said. "It’s a little bit of a lower-pressure spot for Joey where he’ll come up, doing what he can do to help the club and he doesn’t have to hit in the middle of the order or carry anybody."
Daniels said the club considered bringing second baseman Rougned Odor back up from Triple A, which would have moved Adam Rosales and Hanser Alberto to playing time at third base. But he said Odor still has things to work at in the minors, mainly on the defensive side of the ball.
Daniels also doesn’t think Gallo will be hurt by making the jump at such a young age or without Triple A experience.
"I think in some ways this may help his development," he said. "He’ll come up here and he’ll get some first-hand experience and knowledge, the speed of the game, how pitchers are going to attack him, see other guys succeed and how they handle it, see other guys fail and how they handle it."