Before we begin, how about a moment of silence for that baseball you just watched get destroyed. It served its purpose admirably before being sent into the stratosphere by Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo.
Gallo absolutely obliterated a ball during Sunday’s contest against the Los Angeles Angels. He struck in the top of the second inning. With the Rangers already holding a 2-0 lead, Gallo jumped all over an 89 mph slider from Garrett Richards.
The ball was hit directly to center, and landed far past the forest area immediately behind center in Angel Stadium. The official measurement said Gallo hit that ball 490 feet. It was the third longest home run hit this year. Not only that, but it was … gasp … the second 490-foot home run hit by Gallo this season. It was also the longest home run hit at Angel Stadium during the Statcast era.
To all of that, we say “hachi machi!”
Gallo was touted for his immense pop as a prospect, earning 80 grades — the highest possible — from virtually every scout. After seeing that bomb, you know why.
The 23-year-old Gallo came into Sunday hitting .212/.337/.547, with 38 home runs, over 489 plate appearances. While his average is low, Gallo’s 125 wRC+ indicates he’s been 25 percent better than the average hitter this season. Power is important, obviously, but it also helps that Gallo offsets his whiffs with strong plate discipline.
If power is his main source of value, then sign us up. Gallo’s first full season in the majors has been — pardon the pun — a blast. It hasn’t been perfect, but the heights are incredible to watch.
With consistent playing time, Joey Gallo is going to hit 40 home runs per year. We’re guessing it won’t be long until he breaks the 500-foot mark.
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