Why the Yankees must remain patient with one of their top sluggers

joey gallo, yankees

I know there are many Yankees fans that are very adamant that Joey Gallo is not a good baseball player. While his style of play certainly doesn’t suit everyone, there should be no cry for concern just yet when it comes to one of the towers in the outfield. Gallo’s batted ball profile and expected metrics are all saying that Gallo is getting robbed blindly. Taking a look at just his BaseballSavant profile, we can see that Gallo is still putting together excellent at-bats resulting in tons of hard contact.

Gallo is already one of the unluckiest players in the league, and the metrics all back it up. Below I put together a chart showing the discrepancy between his “Actual Slash” and his “Expected Slash.”

Actual Slash xSlash Discrepancy
AVG .158 .265 -.107
SLG .158 .828 -.670
wOBA .257 .494 -.237

I know with Gallo, it seems even more brutal to watch his lows, given his true three outcome approach, but he’ll help carry this offense at times when he’s locked in. We aren’t even a twentieth of the way into the season yet, patience is a virtue. Gallo’s Hard Hit % to start the year sits at 72.7%, and his Sweet Spot % — AKA, if he’s hitting the best part of the bat — is at 54.5%. Sure, those numbers will balance out and come down, but that means that his other results will have to come up. Gallo is too proven of a player to be a season-long sub .500 OPS player.

His .494 xwOBA alone suggests that the tide will be turning in only a matter of time, as if one were to take a gander at the T10 in xwOBA in the league, Gallo, who sits ninth on the list, is the only player in that group with a wRC+ under 158. Some guys in the top 10: Steven Kwan (2nd in xwOBA with .577 xwOBA, but boasting a 287 wRC+), and Seiya Suzuki (10th in xWOBA at .490, but a 262 wRC+). Some Yankees fans may be fed up with it at this point, as it seems like last year’s hitting struggles are already carrying over into this season. However, it truly makes you feel for Gallo. Even his hard-hit single off the rightfield wall that he got thrown out stretching into a double is pure unluckiness. A few inches higher, and that was a line-drive home run. Gallo’s misfortunes should turn around unless the Law of Averages is nothing more than a fool’s fallacy.

Remember everyone, this season is a marathon, not a sprint. Joey Gallo will turn a lot of these demolished baseballs into huge hits and mammoth home runs for the Yanks. There are very few players that have tormented the league with the elite HH% and Exit Velocity that Gallo has posted, and I am a firm believer he’ll turn the corner.