Pipeline preview: Gallo aims to stay hot for Frisco
Rangers' No. 2 prospect looks to display power vs. San Antonio in Double-A action
Joey Gallo hardly looked like a hitter who was in a skid at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on July 13. He broke a truck's windshield with a mammoth home run during batting practice and was named MVP after going deep in the game.
But Gallo, the Rangers' No. 2 prospect, had gone hitless in his last two games with Double-A Frisco before departing for Minneapolis and, when he returned, his slump deepened. In an eight-game stretch from July 9-20, he went 3-for-29 with no extra base hits and struck out 16 times.
Gallo, ranked No. 72 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, has been a streaky hitter throughout his career and it was just a matter of time before he got back on track. It happened this week and his slump has quickly turned into a hot streak.
After homering Friday night, he has a six-game hitting streak and has homered in three straight games. His recent power surge has sent him back to the top of the Minor League leaderboard with 35 home runs this season, just ahead of Cubs' No. 2 prospect Kris Bryant and his 33 home runs.
Gallo will look to stay hot Saturday when Double-A Frisco hosts San Antonio. The game, which begins at 8:05 p.m. ET, can be seen on MiLB.TV.
Padres' No. 7 prospect Joe Ross will be charged with slowing Gallo down Saturday. The 21-year old right-hander will be pitching in his second game since getting promoted from Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. He threw six innings Monday in his Double-A debut as he piggy-backed off Jesse Hahn, who was making a tune-up start to stay fresh around the Major League All-Star break. Ross was solid in his debut, striking out five batters in six innings. He held Corpus Christi to three runs on seven hits and picked up the victory.
In 19 starts with Lake Elsinore this season, Ross went 8-6 with a 3.98 ERA. He struck out 87 batters and walked 28 in 101 2/3 innings.
Ross will look to get support from catcher Austin Hedges and outfielder Hunter Renfroe, ranked Nos. 19 and 98 on the Top 100. Hedges is perhaps the top defensive catcher in the Minor Leagues, but has struggled at the plate this season. The Padres' No. 1 prospect is hitting .236/.281/.351 with five home runs in 87 games with San Antonio.
Renfroe, the Padres' No. 5 prospect, began the season with Ross in Lake Elsinore. He hit 16 home runs in the first half for the Storm and was leading the California League when he was promoted last month. He is hitting .237/.304/.398 with three home runs in 25 games with the Missions.
Also highlighting the day's action are a few pitchers ranked on the Top 100 who are scheduled to start Saturday, including Allen Webster (No. 37), Zach Lee (No. 50), Edwin Escobar (No. 75) and Luke Jackson (No. 95). Fans can watch them all on MiLB.TV, beginning with Jackson and Triple-A Round Rock taking on Colorado Springs in a doubleheader starting at 6:05 p.m. ET.
After all of this weekend's Minor League action, be sure to check out the new Top 100 list when it is unveiled Sunday night after an hour-long special breaking down the top 50 players on the list at 9 p.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.com. In addition to the Top 100, all of MLBPipeline.com's Top 20 Prospects lists for each club and Top 10 Prospects by position have been updated to include players who were selected in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and will also be released Sunday.
Top prospect probables
Victor Alcantara (Angels' No. 13), Burlington vs. Lansing
Chris Anderson (Dodgers' No. 5), Rancho Cucamonga vs. High Desert
Alec Asher (Rangers' No. 10), Frisco vs. San Antonio
Christian Binford (Royals' No. 11), Northwest Arkansas vs. Springfield
Zachary Bird (Dodgers' No. 13), Great Lakes at Peoria
Ty Blach (Giants' No. 6), Richmond at Erie
Paul Blackburn (Cubs' No. 15), Kane County vs. West Michigan
Edwin Escobar (Giants' No. 2), Fresno at El Paso
Drew Gagnon (Brewers' No. 16), Huntsville vs. Chattanooga
Ismael Guillon (Reds' No. 9), Bakersfield at Lake Elsinore
Jason Hursh (Braves' No. 4), Mississippi vs. Pensacola
Luke Jackson (Rangers' No. 3), Round Rock at Colorado Springs
Matt Koch (Mets' No. 19), St. Lucie at Daytona
Austin Kubitza (Tigers' No. 18), West Michigan at Kane County
Zach Lee (Dodgers' No. 4), Albuquerque at Reno
Ben Lively (Reds' No. 12), Pensacola at Mississippi
Cody Martin (Braves' No. 8), Gwinnett at Syracuse
Nick Petree (Rangers' No. 20), Palm Beach at Brevard County
Enny Romero (Rays' No. 4), Durham vs. Toledo
Joe Ross (Padres' No. 7), San Antonio at Frisco
Scott Snodgrass (White Sox No. 19), Birmingham vs. Tennessee
Teddy Stankiewicz (Red Sox's No. 17), Greenville at Hagerstown
Jose Urena (Marlins' No. 7), Jacksonville at Montgomery
Allen Webster (Red Sox's No. 2), Pawtucket at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Tyler Wilson (Orioles' No. 19), Norfolk at Columbus