Throughout the minor league season, the prospect staff here at Fake Teams will look at a number of prospects for your fantasy and dynasty teams. Some will be prospects that you'll see this year in the majors, while others are interesting targets in longer term formats. Up today is a prospect who has been destroying baseballs all over the Carolina League this year, Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers
Weight: 205 lbs.
On 40-Man Roster: No
Protect After: 2016 Season
DOB: 11/19/1993 (Age 20 Season)
A two-way prospect out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, the Rangers drafted Gallo in the supplemental first round of the 2012 draft, taking him with the 39th overall pick that year. Gallo signed quickly for a bonus of $2.25 million, and was assigned to the Rangers' complex affiliate in Arizona. The power was on full-display from Gallo there, as he hit an AZL-record 18 home runs in just 43 games. He was sent to Spokane to finish up the season, appearing in 16 games and adding four more bombs to his total for the year. He finished up the season with a .272/.412/.660 slash line, including 48 walks and 78 strikeouts over 59 games.
Gallo was given a full-season assignment in 2013, heading to a prospect-laden Hickory team. He missed nearly a month due to a groin injury, and yet still led all minor leaguers with 40 home runs on the season. He finished the year with a .251/.338/.623 slash line, 40 home runs and 15 stolen bases. He also finished 6th in the minors with 172 strikeouts against 50 walks, good for a 37% strikeout rate and 10.8% walk rate.
The team promoted Gallo to High-A Myrtle Beach to start this season, where he has already hit 18 home runs in 48 games, and is hitting .327/.459/.747 with 41 walks and 54 strikeouts (19.6% BB, 25.8% K)
The Scouting Report
Hit (AVG): The questions surrounding Gallo since being drafted have always centered around his ability to make enough contact to let his power play to its' potential. Reports on him from this year have shown that he may have made significant enough adjustments to turn him into a potentially lethal threat on the power side. It will be interesting to see what happens when he gets to the highest levels of the minors, and whether the performance this season or the 37% K rate last year are the more realistic possibility. Most likely, you're looking at a .240-.250 hitter if he can keep his strikeout rate down under 30%.
Power (HR, RBI): Let us be perfectly clear about this. 80. If there were a number above 80 on the 20-80 scale, Gallo's power would be that as well. Gallo has elite raw power potential (reports on his batting practice sessions are drool-worthy), and has been able to consistently translate this power in-game in spite of some contact issues. He may be one of only a handful of players in organized baseball that have the potential to provide 50 home run seasons in the future.
Speed (R, SB): Gallo is considered below-average from a speed standpoint, but gets rave reviews about his baserunning instincts and ability to judge what he can do on the basepaths. He's not likely to provide much in terms of stolen bases down the line, but should be good for a few each season
Defense: There are questions about whether Gallo can stay at third base in the long-term, but is not so bad that it is a guarantee he will need to move. If he does end up moving off the hot corner, he could move to the outfield, where his excellent arm could be put to better use than at first base.
When Could He Arrive in the Majors?
Gallo may be changing his own timetable, as he could end up with a promotion to AA if he continues at this rate. I can see a timeline that brings him to the majors during the 2016 season sometime. That timeline could be in line with the end of Adrian Beltre's contract, which has an option for the 2016 season.
What Can He Do for Your Fantasy Team?
Gallo has the potential to be a fantasy monster, providing 40+ home runs with a .250 batting average at third base. There could be seasons of potentially 45-50 home runs if he's making a ton of contact, which isn't impossible either.
Gallo is the complete boom or bust prospect. He's either going to complete the evolution into a top 20 potential player overall, providing league-leading power production, or he barely makes it out of the minors, eaten alive by the issues he has shown with strikeouts and contact. I want to see if he can continue the improvements he has shown this year at the AA level and higher, but it is extremely positive that he has shown adjustments so far. I don't know if we will learn much more until that promotion happens, as he doesn't really appear to be challenged at this moment.
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