Joey Gallo may seem like just another young kid in the minors, but his power display at the plate this season is that of a seasoned veteran. Gallo is only 19 years old and likely has a long way to go before reaching the majors, but his recent power numbers could propel his ascent through the ranks.
Gallo is currently playing for the Single-A Hickory Crawdads, and is one of several power hitters in their lineup. So just how good has the young third baseman been for the Crawdads this season? Here is a look at his offensive numbers.
Through 68 games this year, Gallo has belted 22 home runs. His home run total puts him in a tie for the most home runs in the South Atlantic League with teammate Ryan Rua. He also has 16 doubles and two triples, to go along with 44 RBI, the eighth highest total in the SAL.
Recently, Gallo went on a ridiculous tear over his last 10 games. He led the way for the Crawdads, hitting .425 over that span with eight home runs and 14 RBI. His best performance of those 10 games came when he hit a perfect 4-for-4 with three home runs against the Hagerstown Suns.
Gallo now having a MONSTER game w/ his 3rd HR of the night! The solo shot to right puts 'Dads up 6-2 Bot 7. Gallo now 4-4, 3 HR, 2B, 4 RBI!— Hickory Crawdads (@HickoryCrawdads) June 11, 2013
Last week's performance was enough to earn Gallo the SAL Player of the Week award, closing out the first half of the regular season on a high note for him. As if things couldn't go any better for Gallo right now, he managed to take home another accolade on June 17th.
Gallo was named to the SAL All-Star Game a few weeks ago and had the privilege of participating in the game's Home Run Derby. By the time the derby had come to an end, Gallo found himself taking home the hardware as the champion of the 2013 SAL Home Run Derby.
With so much upside, it's hard to believe that Gallo won't be in the majors within the next year or two, but there are areas he must improve on. When looking for a major league comparison to Gallo's offensive game right now, think of a guy like Indians third baseman Mark Reynolds.
Both Reynolds and Gallo play third base, they both hit for high power totals, and they both struggle with striking out and posting a high average. As the season currently sits, Gallo is hitting just .252 for the Crawdads, an average that was significantly boosted after his recent tear. Here is something else that may sound eerily similar to Reynolds: Gallo is tops in the SAL in strikeouts this season.
At the All-Star break, he is currently second in the league with 108 strikeouts, just one strikeout behind teammate Lewis Brinson.
While he is similar to Reynolds right now, don't expect that comparison to stick around for long. Reynolds has had several years to fix his strikeout problem, while Gallo hasn't even finished out his second year in the minors. He doesn't turn 20 until November, so look for him to mature in his approach at the plate as he gains many more years of experience.
It will be interesting to see how quickly Gallo can continue to grow as a player and advance through the Rangers' minor league system. While there is no projected time for him to arrive to the majors, expect him to make an immediate contribution to the Rangers once he gets called up.
All stats and info courtesy of Twitter.com, MLB.com, MiLB.com, HickoryCrawdads.com, ConstantContact.com and BaseballReference.com unless noted otherwise.
Follow Zachary on Twitter at @ZacharyKrueger