Baseball is one of the most unpredictable professional sports in the world. However, no one could have predicted the absolutely stupid decision to not invite Joey Gallo to the Home Run Derby, just a few short days away.
Quick disclaimer: I know he was still considered to go to the derby but optioned not to because of health reasons. That still doesn’t change the fact that he initially was not invited when they began filling up participant spots. Anyways…
This whole spiel makes me very upset for multiple reasons. First off, Joey Gallo is my favorite player on the Rangers and I am a Rangers fan above anything else. If you told me I had to give up coffee, The Office, and the internet as a whole in order to still watch baseball, I would ditch the aforementioned in a heartbeat.
Second of all, when Joey Gallo hits the ball, people know about it. He is one of the few people on the Rangers that major sports networks actually will post about. And yes, it is completely warranted cause he regularly will do this.
Have I mentioned Joey Gallo has a decent shot at AL MVP? Cause he definitely does. I know he currently is not a qualified batter anymore due to his oblique injury he sustained a few weeks back, but he only needs a little over 20 additional plate appearances to be back in the running again.
Take his stats for what it is, and you are looking at a guy who currently has a higher OBP than Christian Yelich, The highest SLG % in the entire American League, and a 3.3 WAR in just 56 games. So yeah, Joey Gallo is good.
Now that we are all on the same page about how great Joey Gallo is, lemme throw out a few numbers showing why putting him in the derby would be beneficial for just about everyone, (except for the players he goes up against).
Joey Gallo Statcast Numbers:
Average Batted Ball Distance: 230 feet (1st in MLB)
Average Exit Velocity: 94.9mph (1st in MLB)
Average Fly-Ball/Line Drive Velocity: 102.3mph (1st in MLB)
Hard Hit %: 56.1% (1st in MLB)
Barreled Ball % per Batted Ball Events: 27.8% (1st in MLB)
**All stats from 07/01 with batters who have had at least 100 batted ball events**
So essentially, the guy who hits the ball farther, harder, and more consistently on the barrel than anyone in all of baseball was not invited to the Home run Derby… I think whoever sent out the initial invitations and didn’t include Gallo in them should be out of a job IMMEDIATELY.
I could realistically write a novel on how I think Joey Gallo is a freak all-star who deserves a genuine look at being named AL MVP. Not to mention, this is the guy who got invited to the HR Derby 2 years ago, but declined because he wanted to compete when he was a more well-rounded hitter. Humbling yourself and wanting to get better before competing just to see who hits a ball harder is pretty awesome if you ask me.
Gallo is hitting nearly 100 points higher than he was back in 2017. Plus, he just got his first all-star game nod when that was really the only other thing holding him back from swinging it in the derby. Regardless, Gallo won’t be launching balls into the Cleveland skyline at least until August when the Rangers come into town. Let’s hope Gallo gets a chance to show off his power when he gets his AB in the All-Star game.