SURPRISE, AZ (KETK) — Joey Gallo is known on offense for smashing balls into the outfield and many of those batted ball leave the park. Heading into 2019, he will also be in the outfield on the defensive side for the Rangers.
The young slugger seemed poised just two years ago to be the replacement for Adrian Beltre once he chose to retire. However, injuries to the Rangers over the last two years forced the club to put Gallo back in the outfield.
Gallo showed off his fielding ability and cannon of an arm and will be an every day outfielder for the Rangers.
“Once I moved… I kind of felt that was more of my home, that was better suited for me and my skill sets,” said Gallo.
He’s also known for sending balls to the outfield with his own bat. Gallo has hit 81 home runs just in the past two seasons, which is top five in all of baseball.
However, all of the slugging comes at a cost to the overall hitting approach. For most of the first three years of his career, Gallo had more home runs than singles.
In the offseason, the power hitter has been working on bringing down his astronomical strikeout numbers and low ball-in-play rate.
“In the past, I just used to try and hit home runs every pitch and impress everybody. Now… I want to put the ball in play more and help the team any way I can.”
Manager Chris Woodward said if he’s able to do this, Gallo could be “one of the best in the game.”