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Three questions surrounding Rangers slugger Joey Gallo in 2020

Photo: Michael Lark/Dallas Sports Fanatic

Three questions surrounding Rangers slugger Joey Gallo in 2020

While we begin to preview different members of the 2020 Texas Rangers, there isn’t a better place to start than the main guy on offense: Joseph Nicholas Gallo.

After being named an All-Star for the first time last season, Gallo’s name and star power around DFW and the baseball world is bigger than ever. The Rangers failed to add a superstar like Anthony Rendon or Josh Donaldson next to him in the lineup for 2020, so Gallo will have to carry the burden of leading the offense himself in his age 26 season. It seems as good a time as ever for Gallo to truly enter his prime as this will be his fourth full-time season at the Major League level.

Before the games get going for real next month, here are the three biggest questions surrounding Gallo in 2020:

Can he stay healthy? 
Despite 2019 earning his first All-Star appearance, Gallo really only had two full months of play last season: April and May. Before injuring his oblique at the beginning of June, Gallo had posted back-to-back months with an OPS of over 1000 in April (1.082) and May (1.013) before struggling after returning from his injury in July (OPS of just .526 in 14 games).  All of that fading in-and-out of the lineup equaled just 70 games played during the season.

Gallo wouldn’t play in either August or September after having surgery to fix a nagging hamate bone injury in his wrist. After an extended offseason and an official move to right field following the trade of long-time teammate Nomar Mazara, Gallo should be fully healthy and prepared for his role in 2020.  He spent 38 games in center field for Texas last season, more than any other position, and one would have to think he is only going to play there in an emergency situation this season.

Texas is going to do what it takes to protect their young, budding star.  Even if that means playing him at a less electric corner outfield spot.

Will he be a different player at the new Globe Life Field? 
No one has any idea how the new stadium will play. Globe Life Park was always known as an insanely hitter-friendly ballpark and Gallo certainly enjoyed playing there. He had a slash line of .301/.429/.717/1.145 in 34 games in Arlington last season.

When looking at the field dimensions of the new ballpark compared to the old, there isn’t a big difference when it comes to Gallo’s right side of the diamond.

Globe Life Park Globe Life Field
Right field 325 ft. 326 ft.
Right-center field 377 ft. 374 ft.
Center field 400 ft. 407 ft.

Is this the year he legitimately become the superstar face of the Rangers?  
The 26-year-old slugger has an A+ smile and a great personality that is able to be flexed thanks to the relaxed nature of baseball. He’s caught the attention of Rangers fans over the past couple of years with his sky-high home runs on the field, but 2020 needs to be the year that the average DFW sports fan knows who Joey Gallo is and knows what he’s all about.

In an area with the superstars likes Luka Doncic, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot – each one of the biggest names in their respective sports – the Rangers have badly needed someone to step up and fill that void virtually since the departure of Michael Young and prime-Josh Hamilton back in 2012. Adrian Beltre was as loved as anyone in the baseball circles, but he was far from a household name like the Luka’s, Dak’s or Zeke’s of the world right now. Gallo, thanks to his fun personality and still high potential, seems to have just as good of a chance as anyone to step into that spotlight while sporting a Rangers uniform.

ICYMI: Register for the Monster Hydro Stadium Blitz at Ford Stadium on Saturday, March 14th. You can get 20 percent off registration with promo code FAN20 here.

Editor-in-Chief for Dallas Fanatic| Born and raised in Dallas, I received my Bachelor's Degree from the University of North Texas in 2014 after majoring in Radio/TV/Film. I'm a lover of all sports and support every DFW team. For random sports and other thoughts, find me on Twitter: @DylanDuell

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