Sent down, Gallo takes lessons back to Minors
BALTIMORE -- Joey Gallo's time in the big leagues is over for now, but he will certainly be back.
Gallo, the Rangers' top prospect according to MLB.com, was originally called up from Double-A Frisco on June 2 out of necessity, with Adrian Beltre going on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb. Gallo ended up playing 25 games with Texas, batting .218 with five home runs and 13 RBIs.
The 21-year-old was sent down to Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday with Josh Hamilton returning to the lineup, but Rangers manager Jeff Banister was proud of the way Gallo performed with the team and thinks the experience will only help him moving forward.
"It was a tremendously good experience just to be up here and kind of just see what the big league life is and face the pitchers that we faced," Gallo said. "I faced some really good pitchers and I think it will only benefit me."
Gallo played all over the field for the Rangers, starting 13 games at third base, eight in left field and one start in center field and at designated hitter. He will continue to play both the outfield and third base in the Minors, but Gallo said he needs to focus on his at-bats more than anything, especially with two strikes.
He showed signs of power, but Gallo struck out 43 times in his first big league stint. He will now get the chance to work on his plate appearances in the Minors having experienced pitching in the Major Leagues.
"We are going to need Joey Gallo at some point, and I challenge him to go back, take his leadership skills and go to work," Banister said. "Take the time to exhale a little bit and go to work. Go to work on the things that he experienced here, especially in the batter's box. When things are going really well for him, what they feel like, what they look like, because he can impact the baseball."
Gallo showed a flash of his potential in Monday's 8-1 victory over the Orioles, but not after first displaying some of what he needs to work on. After striking out three times in his first three at-bats, Gallo delivered a three-run triple that put the game out of reach.
The rookie seemed down about the decision on Tuesday when he was saying goodbye to teammates, but will get the chance to say hello in the future.
"This is not one of those moments in his career that he should take away as a frustration, but more that he should have excitement about what he was capable of doing here," Banister said. "And that this is one of those moments in his career that he is going to look back on and say this was a time that he had an opportunity to look into the future of what he can be and what he is going to be and how he is going to impact this organization."