The New York Yankees are coming off back-to-back wins against the Baltimore Orioles and have strung together a five-game winning streak, winning seven of their last eight games in total. The Bombers have finally hit their stride offensively thanks to a bit more continuity from their sluggers.
One of the more polarizing players to open the year has been Joey Gallo, who had struggled considerably to provide any sort of production until he finally broke through against Baltimore on Tuesday. Before then, he was hitting a putrid .146 with a .167 slugging percentage, but fast forward two days, and he’s now hitting .161 with a .286 slugging percentage. However, in that time span, Gallo has hit two home runs and recorded two RBIs.
Several days ago, it was reported that the Yankees had considered trading him to the San Diego Padres, but the two teams couldn’t solidify a deal. After 18 games of the regular season, Cashman might be shaking his head given Gallo’s struggles, but manager Aaron Boone has continued to rely on him and provide him with more reps to try and break out of his funk.
Finally, it seemed as if Gallo is starting to blossom, despite striking out a team-high 41.3%. Taking a look at his other metrics, Gallo features a 23.3% barrel rate, 50% hard-hit percentage, and 90.7 exit velocity. His launch angle sits at just 16.6°, down 6° compared to 2021.
There is a reasonable argument to make that Gallo has been getting unlucky, making great contact but resulting in outs. Alas, his strikeout rate is still unbelievably high, and his batting average, while disregarded by the Yankees, is terrible.
In fact, over his last three seasons, Gallo hasn’t hit above .200, which is borderline embarrassing. Yes, he had 38 homers last year and won a Gold Glove, but it seems his only value is the long ball offensively, generating just nine hits this season over 63 plate appearances. If you take away his two homers, he’s only posted seven hits, basically an automatic out.
Nonetheless, if he can begin hitting home runs at a more frequent rate, his value will improve and the Yankees will get great run production toward the latter portion of the batting order. Gallo has dropped all the way to the seventh spot, just before Isiah Kiner-Falefa.