The Texas Rangers knew they were getting a talented player when they drafted Joey Gallo in the first round of the 2012 draft. The buzz didn’t start until Gallo made his debut in AA Frisco, when he hit a walk off homerun in his first start for the Frisco Rough Riders. Gallo managed to elevate his hype by hitting 37 home runs and was selected as the MVP of the Futures All Star game in 2013.
On his major league debut on Tuesday June 2, Gallo proved he was as good as advertised by going 3-4 with 4 RBIs, including a monster home run to right field. He was close to becoming the first player ever to hit for the cycle in their first game, but it was a historic debut anyhow.
The top prospect in the Rangers organization set a franchise record for an MLB debut with four RBIs, walked and even got a standing ovation after striking out with the bases loaded in the Rangers’ 15-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Before the game, Gallo sought advice from his childhood teammate, Bryce Harper, now anl outfielder for the Washington Nationals.
“Bryce told me to keep raking, do what I do,” said Gallo. Gallo’s former hitting coach, Jason Giambi also reached out to Gallo, among many other people.
“He texted me a few times,” Gallo said Wednesday afternoon before the Rangers took the field against the White Sox again, “but I was getting blown up so much my phone died.”
Gallo’s debut was the highest rated Ranger game all year, according to Fox Sports Southwest. But General Manager Jon Daniels has stated that Gallo’s big league appearance will only be temporary until Adrian Beltre recovers from an injury to his left thumb. However Gallo said he wants to stay, and believes he can contribute in any way possible. If Gallo continues to perform like he did in his debut, perhaps he may stay to help make a playoff run.
Gallo and his parents celebrated briefly after the game.
“They offered to take me out to dinner, but we had steak tonight,” Gallo said, motioning to the locker room. “We didn’t get steak in the minors,” said Gallo. Sounds like he’s really taking advantage of his time in the big leagues.”
On Wednesday night, things were tougher as the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-2.
Gallo homered into the upper deck in right field for the second time in two major league games. The Rangers said the shot off reliever Zach Duke made him the first Texas player to homer in his first two big-league games. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.