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DSF Top 20 Current Athletes: #5 Texas Rangers OF Joey Gallo

Photo: Klay Kuban/Dallas Sports Fanatic

DSF Top 20 Current Athletes: #5 Texas Rangers OF Joey Gallo

Joey Gallo
Age: 25
Position: Left Field / Center Field / Designated Hitter
Career Highlights: 2019 American League All-Star, AL Player of the Week (4/15/2019 – 4/21/2019), 3rd in AL in Home Runs 2017 and 2018

There’s one consensus that Rangers fans and outsiders can safely say about Joey Gallo, that dude can rake. The Rangers drafted Gallo out of Bishop Gorman High School (alum for former Cowboys running back, DeMarco Murray) during the first round of the 2012 June draft. The Rangers selected Gallo thirty-ninth overall. Outside of Gallo, that same 2012 high school class produced two more first-rounders for two different professional sports. The Utah Jazz took Shabazz Muhammad from UCLA fourteenth overall in 2013, and the Baltimore Ravens took Tackle Ronnie Stanley sixth overall in 2016 from Notre Dame.

On Thursday, May 16, 2019, in Pittsburgh, Joey Gallo hit his 100th career home run (nearly lined into the Allegheny River) and became the fastest player in American League history to reach 100 home runs (377 games). Later this season, Joey made his first career All-Star game and promptly did what Joey Gallo does best: launch baseballs out of the park. On the first pitch from Giants’ closer Will Smith, Gallo smoked the baseball probably to West Philadelphia and added another notch to Joey’s belt of legacy. Gallo is known to most for his immense power with the bat and the glove, but he’s also works in the community teaming up with Operation Kindness to help dogs and cats find homes. According to Chris Woodward, Joey’s comedy is an aspect people don’t tend to associate Gallo with (trust me, he’s funny).

2019 became Joey Gallo’s best season easily. Coaches, teammates, and fans witnessed improvements to batting average, OPS, strikeouts per at-bat, and more productive plate appearances for Gallo. However, 2019 became a limited season for Joey due to an oblique injury he suffered in early June. He also had surgery to remove a hamate bone in his right wrist in mid-July which sidelined him for the rest of the season. Joey mentioned in August that he first suffered the injury prior to the oblique, but it really affected him after the All-Star break. Despite the reduced playing time, 2019 looked great for Pico de Gallo.

Don’t forget about the defense. Rangers’ fans witnessed the all-around athletic ability of Gallo in 2019. This season, Joey racked up eight outfield assists, which was 4th in MLB with logging less than 560 innings). There’ll be a question in the offseason for the Rangers outfield alignment and where exactly Joey Gallo will call home in the field. I brought up that question to Joey on which outfield position he prefers, “Whatever one helps the team best.” Joey said with a grin, “I like them equally, so we’ll see wherever they want to put me.”

Outlook: There’s a lot to like about Gallo’s 2019 campaign, outside of the injuries. The bright side is that the Rangers will have a fully rejuvenated Gallo ready in late February and March for Spring Training. Joey took that initial step to become an all-around great this season, and now the key is to grow and keep each step consistent. There may be rust to start the season, especially with no in-game action since mid-July (other than a weekend Arizona stint in September). However, it’s a season to look forward to for Rangers fans. Joey Gallo doesn’t quite have a fan nickname yet, but it won’t be long before one sticks to him (I’m going with Joey Gallo”leo“, Father of modern outcome baseball).

DSF Top 20 Current DFW Athletes
20. John Klingberg | 19. Skylar Diggins-Smith | 18. Alexander Radulov | 17. Tyron Smith | 16. Miro Heiskanen | 15. Travis Frederick | 14. Zack Martin |  13. Demarcus Lawrence | 12. Leighton Vander Esch | 11. Ben Bishop | 10. Jaylon Smith | 9. Jamie Benn | 8. Amari Cooper | 7. Elvis Andrus | 6. Kristaps Porzingis | 5.  Joey Gallo

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. My baseball memory bank is dominated by the Texas Rangers with the other 29 franchises sprinkled in. In addition, I enjoy NFL Sunday afternoons and only the first NCAA tournament weekend.

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