Mike Petriello of MLB.com asked a question. Is Joey Gallo making a case for MVP?
Gallo, he points out, has been the best hitter in the American league by OPS and a few other silly new-age stats. And, he is playing great defense at a prime position, center field.
“That’s it. Full stop.” he writes. “When you’re a center fielder hitting .293/.426/.687, the best line in the league, with 15 homers before the end of May, you’re one of the best players in baseball. There is no argument here.”
He also adds: “That he’s been the best hitter in the AL is not the same thing as saying he will be the best hitter in the AL.”
He also points out how difficult it is to be named the MVP when your team isn’t a playoff contender.
Petriello identifies four areas where Gallo has dramatically increased his game.
While he isn’t striking out less, he is walking much more. He’s not swinging at bad pitches.
He’s ignoring the shift by beating it anyway. As Petriello notes, Gallo is going to the opposite field even less this year than in his previous two seasons. Yet he is one of the league’s elite hitters. He’s not going to alter his approach. He doesn’t have to anymore.
He’s hitting the ball harder than ever. His average exit velocity is the highest in baseball.
And that silly thing called launch angle? Gallo is elevating the ball less this season. He’s hitting far fewer fly balls (the one that don’t go over the wall are eventually outs) and a lot more line drives. Those are resulting in doubles and those elusive singles.
You can read the entire article here.
When you think about it, this team, right now, has a legitimate MVP candidate in Gallo and a legitimate Cy Young candidate in Mike Minor.
Maybe that’s why it’s much more fun to watch the Texas Rangers than it’s been in a long, long time.
Drew Smyly (0-3, 6.51) vs. Griffin Canning (2-1, 3.80)
Game time: 9:07