Joey Gallo was on his way to a monster season until two injuries derailed it.
Here was a guy who three seasons prior batted .040. A guy who had all the talent in the world but without the ability to harness it.
Before 2019, Gallo had been a frustrating mess. He was a two-outcome hitter. Strikeout or home run. Mostly strikeout.
He looked like he was going to be just another in the long line of Jon Daniels failed draft picks.
Then he learned how to draw a walk. Then it all clicked. Then he became a legitimate threat. Then he strained his oblique. Then he came back and hit a home run in the All-Star game. Then he broke his hamate bone. And just like that, his magical season ended. Joey Gallo played in only 70 games last season. He put up a wonder .986 OPS and an even more impressive 145 OPS+.
The Rangers lost Gallo at the same time that their schedule started calling for them to face good team. They went into a freefall. Was it from losing Gallo? Or was it from reality setting in?
While Gallo played center last season, in 2020 he will be the Rangers right fielder. The depth chart lists Calhoun, Heineman, and Garcia as backups.
If any of them plays for any amount of time, the Rangers are in trouble. If Gallo is out of the lineup, it’s one of the weakest in baseball.
Gallo will be the Rangers engine. He will be the Rangers offensive catalyst.
Here’s hoping the baseball gods do two things. One, deliver the Joey Gallo of 2019. Two, keep him on the field.