High School: Bishop Gorman (Nev.)
College Commitment: LSU
Joey Gallo put himself on every scout’s radar at the Perfect Game All-American Classic last August when he blasted a monster 442-foot home run at PETCO Park. Furthermore, his 60-plus career home runs and counting at Bishop Gorman is a Nevada state record.
Without a doubt, the left-handed hitter possesses the most power of anyone in the 2012 draft class. However, like most young power hitters, Gallo’s swing can get long at times and he lands hard on the front side, causing him to struggle with quality off-speed offerings. Defensively, Gallo has showcased a low- to mid-90s arm across the infield, and he moves surprisingly well for his size.
He’s also received consideration as a right-handed pitcher, as his mid-90s fastball is one of the best in the class and his slider has improved with experience. Recently, his fastball was clocked as high as 98 mph.
As expected, his potential as both a position and pitching prospect has impacted his draft stock. Signed to play at Louisiana State next season, Gallo’s prodigious power from the left side warrants comparisons to Adam Dunn. Considering that scouts are already concerned with his strikeout rate, he will be forced to develop a more consistent approach at the plate while retaining his power. He may not progress as quickly as some other first-rounders, but Gallo should reach the major leagues by 2016.
Analysis: Gallo has a ton of upside with his huge frame and tremendous power. Add that he's versatile and can play third, first and has potential as a pitcher, he can be moved around wherever the Rangers think he'll eventually fit best. Considering how successful the Rangers have been of late, there's not reason for them to rush him to the big leagues and can let him develop.
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