This MLB insider has an answer to Joey Gallo’s struggles on the plate in pinstripes.
ESPN’s Buster Olney ranked Gallo fourth among the many top-10 left fielders in Main League Baseball this week. In his evaluation, Olney defined that Gallo would profit from fewer pressure-filled conditions the place he has runners on base.
In different phrases, he believes New York ought to think about using Gallo within the leadoff spot in 2022.
Here is Olney’s tackle the state of affairs:
The Yankees ought to think about placing him within the leadoff spot and encourage him to simply do what he does greatest, which is to get on base. He had a .379 OBP with the Rangers on the time the Yankees acquired him, and by batting him within the No. 1 spot — or one of many backside three spots — Aaron Boone might rescue him from having to bat with runners in scoring place early in video games, moments that fueled the boos he heard. Final season, Gallo hit .162 with runners on base, .240 when he led off innings. The primary a part of the 2022 season could possibly be essential in figuring out whether or not Gallo is a match for the market or, like Sonny Grey, may be extra comfy elsewhere.
Over 58 video games with the Yankees in 2021, after he was acquired earlier than the commerce deadline, Gallo posted a slash line of .160/.303/.404. He struck out 88 occasions, clubbing a complete of 13 residence runs.
As Olney alluded to, Gallo’s numbers did enhance when he was within the field with no one on base. Actually, solely 5 of his 13 homers got here with runners on. His ultimate six lengthy balls of the season have been solo pictures.
With half a season within the Bronx underneath his belt, odds are Gallo’s numbers will even out and resemble the manufacturing Rangers followers witnessed throughout his time in Texas. His superior metrics present that he has what it takes to dominate with the Yankees—his plate self-discipline and energy are elite, plain and easy—however he nonetheless has to show that he can put it collectively in pinstripes.
Gallo is not a prototypical leadoff man. He did not steal a single base for the Yankees final yr, swiping six luggage with the Rangers earlier than the midseason commerce. However these conventional roles are altering in at present’s MLB. For a workforce that’s missing velocity and would not run their offense via small ball, letting Gallo hit leadoff is no less than price a attempt. In any case, he does get on base. Gallo led the league with 111 walks final yr and his 18% stroll price was within the league’s 99th percentile.
Then once more, having Gallo as a menace in the midst of the order to place a number of runs on the board with one swing can be invaluable as effectively. If he can get again to mashing in 2022, Gallo can be poised to do important harm in the midst of the order, flanked by Aaron Choose, Giancarlo Stanton and extra.
Talking of Choose, Olney ranked the star fourth among the many top-10 proper fielders (one spot forward of Mookie Betts). Olney’s high left and proper fielders are Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Braves and Tyler O’Neill of the Cardinals respectively.