Can Joey Gallo Rebound with the Minnesota Twins?

The free agent signings continue, as the Minnesota Twins pick up one of the game’s most intriguing ballplayers. Outfielder Joey Gallo is off the board, as the slugger has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Twins. For Gallo, the former Ranger and Yankee will look to rebound after a season that didn’t go as expected for the 29-year old.

Related: Yankees Stack Rotation with Carlos Rodón

A Look at Gallo

A former first-round pick by the Rangers in 2012, Joey Gallo has become a well-known commodity across baseball circles. The slugger has produced three 30+ home run seasons since being called up initially in 2015, including a 41 home run campaign in 2017. The Nevada native possesses some of the best raw power in all of Major League Baseball. Not to mention, Gallo does get on base at a fair clip thanks to a keen eye at the plate. Gallo has produced an above-average BB% in every season since his debut.

While Gallo is an elite power hitter, strikeouts have become a major problem throughout the 29-year-old’s career. Since 2020, Gallo has struck out 456 times, by far the most in baseball during that time. To put that total in perspective, Gallo has 21 more strikeouts than the player with the second-most K’s during that span: Dansby Swanson (435). Gallo, though, has had over 400 less plate appearances than the current free agent shortstop over that span.

Much of this has to do less with chasing — Gallo’s chase rates have actually been above-average throughout his career — and more with failing to catch up with pitches in the zone. For a player with elite speed, flailing too early can be a problem. That is more than apparent in Gallo’s case.

Gallo’s most recent campaign was a rough one, to say the least. The former Ranger drew the ire of Yankees’ fans last season, thanks to a lower-than-average .159 batting average and just 18 extra base hits over 82 games. New York cut its losses at the Trade Deadline, as the Yankees sent him to the Dodgers. Gallo produced similar numbers with the Dodgers (.162/.277/.393) over 44 games.

Gallo’s time as a free agent is over, as the slugger now heads to Minnesota on a one-year deal.

What it Means

The strengths and weaknesses in Gallo’s game are not exactly a secret. A career .199 hitter, Gallo’s high strikeout totals come with the territory. The outfielder has incredible bat speed and power, but that tool only helps when putting the ball in play.

On the flip side, the 29-year old has won two Gold Gloves, possesses an above-average arm in the outfield, and has fantastic plate discipline. With all of those tools, it’s not hard to figure why Minnesota would want Gallo on a short-term deal. No, don’t expect Gallo to magically hit .250, even with the removal of the shift. However, a season in which Gallo knocks 25-30 home runs and an OBP in the .300-.330 range would be considered a win. It’s not wild to think that Gallo can put those stats, given his track record.

It’s been a interesting offseason for the Twins. While Minnesota did address its problems behind the dish with Christian Vázquez, the Twins did lose star shortstop Carlos Correa to the San Francisco Giants. This move won’t solve the Twins’ newfound hole at short, but it does give Minnesota the opportunity to add some pop to a lineup that features talented hitters like reigning AL hitting champion Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, Byron Buxton, and Max Kepler.

Leave a Reply