The Yankees knew what they were getting with Joey Gallo.
All they had to do was imagine an outfielder almost as big as Giancarlo Stanton who had the ability to play Gold Glove defense, was pretty good with the media and had an approach at the plate that was eerily reminiscent of Rob Deer’s.
Walks, hits and home runs are often called baseball’s three true outcomes, and with Gallo, they felt like the only possibilities. In that sense, he kept his promise.
Gallo’s final numbers over 140 games with the Yankees ahead of the trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, announced Tuesday: .159 batting average, 25 homers, 77 walks and 194 strikeouts.
The three true hits, so-called because they typically don’t include defense beyond the pitcher and catcher, added up to 59 percent of his plate appearances, surpassing his previous career mark with Texas of 58.2 percent . (For reference, Deer, who is often referred to as the king of all-or-nothing sluggers, produced one out of three true hits in just 49.1 percent of his career plate appearances.)
Things got bad enough for Gallo last October that an article appeared criticizing him for the way he dressed before fights – a fact reported in self-awareness tweet.
Now Gallo, 28, will start over in Los Angeles, where the Dodgers have had a knack for finding uses for players who have struggled elsewhere.
The Yankees acquired Gallo and Joely Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers last year for a package of three minor leaguers, all of whom are now in the majors. And he was sent to the Dodgers for Clayton Beeter, a Class AA right-hander with a 4.59 ERA over the past two seasons. The difference in trade packages is a pretty stark indication of how far Gallo’s stock has fallen.
But for the Dodgers, the possibility that they can shift his three true strikeout ratio to something more productive makes Gallo worth it. And maybe the Los Angeles media won’t care as much about how she dresses.