NEW YORK -- As Joey Gallo entered the Yankees’ universe in late July, the slugger knew that changes were in store. He stared into a bathroom mirror, shedding the bushy beard that had become a trademark during his time with the Rangers, then nodded when manager Aaron Boone asked him to switch corner-outfield positions.
The reigning 2020 Rawlings American League Gold Glove winner in right field, Gallo said he was “perfectly fine” with Boone’s request to move into left field, allowing Aaron Judge to continue patrolling right. Gallo’s defensive performance again earned honors on Sunday, as he was selected as the AL’s top defensive right fielder for a second successive year.
Gallo bested finalists Hunter Renfroe of the Red Sox and Kyle Tucker of the Astros. Winners are selected through a voting process that involves the managers and six coaches of each Major League team, totaling seven votes per club. Voters cannot vote for their own players and may only vote for players in their leagues.
“I know I'm a really good defender, and I think people don't obviously know that or give credit to that,” Gallo said on Oct. 1. “I know that you're going to make mistakes sometimes and things aren't going to go your way, but you’ve got to keep playing aggressively. I always believe in myself out there.”
Gallo is the first Yankee to win a Gold Glove Award since Brett Gardner, who was honored for his play in left field in 2016.
With Texas, Gallo played 83 games in right field; he played nine with the Yankees at that position for a total of 92. Overall, Gallo logged 764 2/3 innings in right field, making 192 putouts with nine assists, three double plays turned and four errors for a .980 fielding percentage.
According to Fangraphs, Gallo tied Judge and Tucker for the AL lead with 11 Defensive Runs Saved. Gallo played 147 1/3 fewer innings in right field than Judge and 364 1/3 fewer innings than Tucker. Gallo played 51 games in left field.