Let's take a look at 10 of the most important attributes that should help to indicate what a prospect’s future might hold. Players are ranked on a scale of 1-10 by their qualities for each aspect, accumulating in a final prospect grade. Grades are based on what prospects can bring to the table from the current position they are projected to play in the major leagues.
Without further ado, let’s find out if Joey Gallo makes the grade…
1) Baseball IQ – Check out what one of the top prospect evaluators / internet writers in the business had to say about third base prospect Joey Gallo at the end of the 2013 baseball season. Fangraphs also discusses Gallo’s ability to be a "smart, headsy base-runner" here. Rating: 10 out of 10.
2) Batting-Eye – The slugger takes a lot of heat for his strikeout rate. After whiffing a total of 172 times in 2013, scouts question if he will be able to hack it against big league arms. Gallo has made improvements to those rates so far this season. The walk rate has improved in 2014 as well, another positive sign. Rating: 8 out of 10.
3) Hit-Tool – The high strikeout rate helped lead to a .251 batting average in 2013. With the help of improved K:BB rates in 2014, Gallo is hitting for a .320 average through his first 56 games. Rating: 9 out of 10.
4) Power – Since the start of the 2013 season, the third baseman has played in 167 games while launched 61 dingers in that time. This prospect is on another planet when discussing his power prospects. Potential 40 home-run masher. Rating: 10 out of 10.
5) Speed – This isn’t his game…but Gallo did find a way to piece together 15 SB’s in 2013. I wouldn’t expect a lot of SB’s in the majors, but even 5-10 a year would go nicely with the potential homerun totals this prospect could total. Rating: 8 out of 10.
6) Body – The tall infielder checks in at 6’5" and 205 pounds. His large frame isn’t a hindrance though, as Gallo earned Baseball America’s Top Defensive 3B honors in the South Atlantic League in 2013. Rating: 10 out of 10.
7) Durability – In his first full professional season in 2013, the Las Vegas native logged 111 games played. There are no injury concerns to worry about here. Rating: 10 out of 10.
8) Ceiling – We could be looking at a potential league leader in HR’s if everything pans out perfectly. The batting average might leave something to be desired, but we could have a fantasy option similar to Edwin Encarnacion here. Rating: 10 out of 10.
9) Floor – The concern here is the same as it has been – Can Gallo overcome the high K-rates to find success at the big league level? If the strikeouts are too much to overcome, Gallo could be player in the mold of Russell Branyan. Rating: 6 out of 10.
10) Future – So far in his professional career, Gallo has overcome what many have considered his weaknesses to produce terrific results. The masher might not hit for .300 in the majors, but a power hitter similar to Adam Dunn in his prime at third base has definite value. Rating: 9 out of 10.
Overall Grade: 90% - A-
Future Outlook: Joey Gallo has been showing doubters that his breakout 2013 season was no fluke with a quick start to the 2014 season. There are no other prospects in the minors with more power potential than this slugger. Drafted out of high-school, the 20 year-old has done nothing but exceeded expectations thus far. Not many prospects have the power to earn the label of a potential "40-HR threat", but that is exactly what we have here. The best comp might be that of an Adam Dunn at third base, a middle-of-the-order hitter capable of big HR totals with a low-to-decent batting average. After raising that average from .251 in 2013 to .320 so far this year, that low batting average might not be a certainty. The 20 year-old is still developing his form, but we already have the makings of one of the top fantasy prospects in all of the minor leagues.