Yankees’ outfielder suffering through worst stretch in his career, Boone comes to his defense

Alexander Wilson
joey gallo, yankees

The New York Yankees have had a Joey Gallo problem since the moment he was acquired from the Texas Rangers last season. Over 58 games in 2021 wearing pinstripes, Gallo recorded a .160 average with a 30% on-base rate, 13 homers, and 22 RBIs. His strikeout rate ballooned to 38.6% from 32.2% with Texas.

However, things have gotten even worse this season, donning a 39.3% strikeout rate, .167 batting average, and a measly 27.6% on-base rate. For one of the best power hitters in baseball, recording a .333 slugging percentage is abysmal.

Gallo has heard the boo’s from fans and the negativity, which undoubtedly has impacted his psychological confidence. The Yankees continue to win games, but Gallo continues to struggle and provide minimal offensive production.

“I think the team winning definitely helps big-time,” manager Aaron Boone said after the Yankees’ 5-3 in over the A’s. “But you also have a personal expectation and pride and desire to succeed and be a part of this thing, which he very much is. It’s a heavy burden, especially when you’ve had success in this league and you’ve been an All-Star in this league and you’re not getting the results — especially when you pour everything into it, which Joey does.

The Yankees can’t continue to depend on Gallo:

In the month of June, Gallo is hitting an embarrassing .143 with a 26% on-base rate. He’s hit four homers and recorded 11 RBIs over 63 at-bats. What’s even more astounding, he struck out in 31 of those at-bats, which is almost a 50% rate.

Numbers like that clearly justify trading him at the deadline in a few weeks. Despite Aaron Boone coming to his defense, that ultimately doesn’t change the numbers that reflect his performance.

“It’s frustrating and I know it’s difficult. I know it certainly weighs on him and wears on him.”

At some point, general manager Brian Cashman has to make the difficult decision of moving on from a player he once coveted.

Joey‘s hard-hit metrics still reflect a good player under the surface, recording a 48% hard-hit rate, 18.6% barrel rate, and 88.4 exit velocity. Even his launch angle remains at 21.9°. Those numbers should result in more production, but he’s simply not making contact.

In fact, he features a 36.3% WHIFF rate against fastballs, 46.7% against breaking balls, and 47.5% against offspeed pitches. Opposing pitchers are throwing breaking balls 28.5% of the time against Gallo. He’s hitting .106 against them.

The numbers tell an obvious story and one that management must consider when it comes to putting together a trade package for a prospective acquisition.