Joey Gallo is a physically strong, 6-foot-5, 205-pound, CI/RHP from Bishop Gorman HS (NV). One of the elite bats in the 2012 draft class, Gallo possesses power to all fields with exceptional pull-side power. However, it’s not just the left-handed hitter’s bat that intrigues scouts – Gallo also has potential on the mound.
With a low-90s arm across the diamond, scouts will continue to debate whether Gallo is more projectable as a position player or pitcher. Given his 6-foot-5 frame, he has impressive athleticism and exhibits natural defensive actions at third base. However, he isn’t an elite defender and will probably never grade higher than a 55 at the hot corner.
Gallo’s best tool is without a doubt his power, which has the potential to be a 65 or 70 by the time he arrives in the Major Leagues. Last season at Bishop Gorman, he batted .471 with 25 home runs and 76 RBI while posting a 24/17 BB/K rate. In 2010, Gallo swatted 15 bombs while posting a .474 batting average.
His raw power was on full display this past summer at the Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park where he belted a 442-foot home run – the 10th longest in the park’s history. The only knock on Gallo’s potential as a hitter is that, like most young power hitters, he has a tendency to drift and over-commit with his front side which causes his bat to drag. In turn, he struggles to hit quality offspeed pitches at times. But when he learns to adjust to such pitches, Gallo’s hit tool has the potential to be about a 60.
On the bump, Gallo’s fastball has already been clocked at 94 mph, and his size suggests there could be more in the tank. While his arm works well, Gallo is a big, powerful kid, and his mechanics can get a bit inconsistent at times and therefore affect his command. As for offspeed, Gallo features an above average breaker and a change up that needs some development.
Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 21 prep prospect, Gallo is in a precarious position headed into the 2011 season. He will be scrutinized until the draft as both a third baseman and pitcher, and disagreement about which position offers a higher ceiling could affect his stock. What could ultimately happen is something similar to when Kaleb Cowart was drafted 18th overall by the Angels in 2009 as a switch-hitting third baseman. If Gallo’s bat never develops at the professional level, he still possesses a potential 60-70 arm that could be utilized on the mound.
If Gallo isn’t drafted favorably he will head to Louisiana State, which, in reality, might not be a terrible idea if his bat and/or secondary offerings need further development.