Power plays. Teams will take a chance on a guy with raw power all the time. It doesn't matter what position he plays or if he is a slug on the basepaths.
That's the biggest plus with a guy like Joey Gallo, who we're profiling as the first commenter recommended profile this season. Gallo is impressive in batting practice and absolutely can destroy mistakes. He just can't catch up to good fastballs and generally is a mistake hitter.
Plus, he's got a cannon for an arm at third base, but his huge frame as a high schooler means he may grow out of the spot in coming seasons. If that happens, he'll need to move across the diamond to first. But, that shouldn't be a problem given his raw power potential.
Why isn't a guy like Gallo being discussed for the top overall pick if power is premium and he's got that in spades? Well, he can't really make contact. Non-prospect type can get him out. He's struggled this season against high school pitching. How might he do in the pros?
There's also the weird thing with his pitching side. Apparently, Gallo loves hitting so much, he doesn't tell scouts when he's pitching, so they can't see him. Wait, what?? Don't you do everything you can to get drafted no matter what? Can you really just do something like that?
I guess you can if you can also hit 450 foot bombs.
I like Gallo's potential and I'm super on board with John Klima's Dave Kingman comp. It works better than Adam Dunn, I think, given Dunn had some more success with his batting average early in his career. Kingman? Not so much, and I think Gallo is headed down that same path.
I'd be very worried with him at 1-1, but if he's there in the supplemental round? Still would be wary. Just am not feeling this guy at all.
The obvious downside here comes if Gallo doesn't make it as a hitter and has to switch to the mound. At that point, he's lost developmental time and may not have any secondary stuff to do well there. Though he's got intriguing arm strength, he could be a bust of epic proportions if neither side pans out.
Dream on the power, which is elite and means he could hit 30+ home runs as a pro. If he fine-tunes his contact skills, he could easily put up the kind of season that Ryan Howard has recently, getting .250/.330/.580 with 45 homers and a high place in the MVP race. If he sticks at third, he's got even more value.
Projected Draft Round
Right now, he's going in the late first round, but I doubt he slips past the supplemental round.
Will he sign?
Sounds like he really likes what he saw at LSU, but I can't imagine that's enough to pull him away if he goes in the first round. Gallo doesn't sound like the projectable type who could help himself by going to college. I imagine he'll sign because of that, unless he slips pretty far.
College commitment: LSU
Bibliography after the jump
That power might be the best raw juice in the draft, and the left-handed hitter will crush towering flyballs to right and hard line drives out to left-center. Gallo is strong top to bottom with quick hands and a smooth rotational swing that tends to get long as he extends his arms; he swings and misses more often than you want a high school hitting prospect to do, and you can't hit for power in pro ball if you can't make contact.
Gallo, who’s also a bit of a prospect as a right-handed pitcher, is a big, strong left-handed hitter that stands 6-foot-5. He creates leverage and loft and has above-average present game power to support the projections of his raw-power grade. He's played some third base but likely ends up at first. At the Area Code Games last August, scouts likened him to Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman in terms of potential. He's committed to LSU, but has a great chance to go in the first round if he can clean up his contact rates.
"I think he's pressing a bit," Tony Gallo said, pointing out that that's not unusual for kids trying to impress scouts and recruiters. "It's their senior year, and they're pressing. They want to do the absolute best they can, and sometimes that will mess you up a little bit."
Joey Gallo agreed but said it's also about finding a rhythm, like the rhythm he had when he hit six home runs in a single tournament earlier this year.
"When we were in that tournament, I just started hitting, and then you can't go wrong," he said. "Then you get in a little slump and you can't get out of it. You put a little more pressure on yourself.
"I try to take it game by game. I'll go out tomorrow and play hard and try to compete and try to forget about it."
Gallo, described by an opposing pitcher as looking more like 6’7″ than 6’5″, is already an imposing figure in the batter’s box with above-average present game power, but he has the potential to fill out his 215-pound frame to be even larger. He has the potential to hit 35-40 home runs in the majors, and his power grade of 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale is easily tops in this year’s draft class. He uses his incredible raw strength to effortlessly drive the ball out of any park, standing tall in his swing and displaying tremendous bat speed. He has a smooth swing with a tendency to demolish pitches to his pull side, though he’s capable of driving the ball to all fields. He’s been described as an absolute treat to watch in batting practice and in a home run derby because he hits, according to Scout.com’s Frankie Piliere "downright majestic blasts."
You have a commitment to Louisiana State. Why did you choose LSU and what was it about the university that impressed you the most?
It only took going to one LSU baseball game for me to realize where I wanted to play my college baseball. The atmosphere is unlike any other. I love the coaches there, as well. I felt like I fit in best with LSU. The most impressive thing about LSU is the 10,000 fans they get a game!
Among the 7,953 in attendance was one talent evaluator I talked to who has seen a lot of games at Petco. He said he couldn’t recall many balls being hit harder there than Gallo’s blast.
In his second trip to the plate, the 6’5″, 205 lb. Gallo (Bishop Gorman High School, Henderson, Nev.) walked on four pitches. He fouled out to third base in the fifth, and even that ball was well struck. He hit it straight up in the air, but as the cliche goes, it sounded different off his bat.
Gallo didn’t get a fourth chance, being left on deck as the West team took its final licks in the eighth. Still, the homer was enough to earn him MVP honors for the game.
Here’s something else I liked. Gallo started the game playing first base and finished at third. At one point, while he was playing third, someone hit a pop foul between home plate and first base. The first baseman caught the ball, but Gallo had hustled over from third to help out if needed.
The deal with Gallo is he is a left-handed Dave Kingman, who could throw hard enough to be considered a pitching prospect, and whose raw power set him apart. Just like Kingman back in the day. I don’t think Joey Gallo is going to win any batting titles in his future. He might lead the league in strikeouts, but he also might lead the league in home runs. He’s a big, strong physically imposing guy who has the ability to wait for a mistake and hit the ever-living shit out of it. In that regard, he’s pretty much Harper. I’ll keep my Kingman comp on Gallo, even knowing that most modern comps will veer toward Adam Dunn. But that’s OK.
Normally a corner infielder known for big raw power, Gallo has excellent arm strength and many scouts think he has a better future on the mound. He flashed that potential today when his first pitch was a 96 mph fastball. He sat 93-96 early in his outing and touched 97 while adding in a high-70s curveball that shows sharp, downward break, but is inconsistent now. Gallo has a great frame at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds and a fairly easy delivery. Even though his father is a pitching instructor, Gallo hasn't spent a lot of time on the mound, so his fastball can vary quite a bit and he doesn't hold the velocity very deep yet. However, his raw ability is impressive and today's outing may have added to the case that scouts want to draft him as a pitcher. At the plate, he's 0-for-8 so far in the tournament with four strikeouts.