The Yankees knew what they were getting with Joey Gallo.
All they had to do was imagine an outfielder nearly as tall as Giancarlo Stanton who had the ability to play Gold Glove defense, was pretty good with the media, and had an approach to home plate that was eerily reminiscent of Rob Deer. .
Walks, strikeouts and home runs are often called baseball’s three true outcomes, and with Gallo, they seemed to be the only possibilities. In that sense, I kept his promise.
Gallo’s final numbers over 140 games with the Yankees, before a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, which was announced Tuesday: .159 batting average, 25 home runs, 77 walks and 194 strikeouts.
The three true hits, so-called because they don’t usually involve defense beyond pitcher and catcher, totaled 59% of his plate appearances, surpassing his previous career mark with Texas of 58, 2%. (For reference, Deer, who is often referred to as the king of all-or-nothing hitters, has delivered one of three true hits in just 49.1% of his career plateau appearances.)
Things got bad enough for Gallo last October that an article appeared to criticize him for the way he dressed before games – a fact he addressed in a self-aware tweet.
Now Gallo, 28, will start over in Los Angeles, where the Dodgers have had a knack for finding uses for players who have struggled elsewhere.
The Yankees acquired Gallo and Joely Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers last year for a group of three minor leaguers, all of whom are now in the majors. And he was sent to the Dodgers for Clayton Beeter, a Class AA right-hander with a 4.59 ERA over the past two seasons. The difference in trade packages is a pretty stark indication of Gallo’s stock drop.
But for the Dodgers, the chance that they can change the report from his three true results to something more productive makes Gallo worth a flyer. And maybe the Los Angeles media won’t be so concerned about the way he dresses.