After thirty-two games last year, the Rangers were 12-20. They were 13-19 in 2017. This year, they are 16-16.
So, it’s safe to say the change in direction has changed the Rangers direction.
But there’s really one big difference between this year’s Rangers and the past two losing efforts.
It’s not hyperbole to say he is having an MVP season so far. His biggest competition will be Mike Trout, the guy they will eventually name the award after.
Look at where he is. Especially when you compare to where he was. He came up in 2015, had a great debut game, then just started swinging at everything. In 2016 he got just one hit. A home run. That was good for an .040 average. He kept swinging in 2017 and 2018.
Then he stopped swinging at everything. And everything changed.
Gallo is tied for second in home runs in the American League at eleven. One off the leader.
He’s tied for eighth in A.L. RBIs with twenty-six. Just seven off the lead.
He’s second in walks. He’s second in walks. Again, he’s second in walks. Second. In walks. This is the guy who struck out more than a chess player at a sorority party. Not anymore. Only Mike Trout has more walks, six more than Gallo.
But what’s most amazing of all, Gallo is fifth in on-base percentage. His OBP is .413. That’s one hundred points higher than where he ended last year. And that is the difference between 2019 Joey Gallo and pre-2019 Joey Gallo. In front of Gallo in the American League on-base percentage race are: Shin-Soo Choo at .416, Carlos Santana at .418, Hunter Dozier at .448, and that Mike Trout guy at .471.
This is the year the Rangers gave up on. It’s the Year of Joey Gallo. He is must-see TV when he steps up to the plate.
Not only is Joey Gallo much improved through his team’s first thirty-two games, so is Chin-Soo Choo. Even more remarkable is the difference in Forsythe, Pence, and Santana. Thank goodness for the new Rangers. They are propping up the old ones.
Adrian Sampson (0-1, 3.58) vs. Steven Brault (0-1, 8.31)
Game time: 6:05