New York Yankee Player Profiles: Joey Gallo trending up again?

yankees, joey gallo

One of the new New York Yankee acquisitions leading up to the trade deadline was Joey Gallo, an outfielder from the Texas Rangers who is a power hitter who has not got much attention because of another new player Anthony Rizzo who has been knocking the leather off the ball. Although he has gotten off to a slow start with the Yankees, much more is to come. He has already shown his worth in the outfield at Yankee Stadium, and the home runs are not far behind. Joey has never been a hitter for average, but home runs, no problem. In addition, he leads the Yankees with 25 long balls and will probably end up with 40 or more.

Since he has spent most of his time (seven years) with the Texas Rangers, many Yankee fans don’t know much about him, so it’s time to learn more now. Joey was born Joseph Nickolas Gallo in Henderson, Nevada; he is 27 years old. He is 6′ 5″ and weighs 250 pounds; he throws right but adds a left-hand bat to the Yankees lineup.

Gallo attended Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. In his senior year, he was an All-American and was named the Nevada Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year. According to ESPN, he hit 67 home runs in 446 at-bats in his high school career. As a senior, he hit 21 home runs with a .509 batting average. After high school, he signed a letter of intent to attend Louisiana State University.

In the 2012 MLB draft, he was selected 39th overall by the Texas Rangers. He had to choose to go to LSU or choose the Rangers; he chose the Rangers and got a $2.25 million signing bonus. He started his career with the Arizona League Rangers. In his first year, he hit .293/.435/.733 with 18 home runs and 52 RBIs in 43 games. That performance got him named Arizona League MVP.

After a promotion and short stint with the Spokane Indians, he played the 2013 season with the Hickory Crawdads. He led the Class A South Atlantic League with 38 homers in 392 at-bats. He was a postseason All-Star. He became the first player to hit 40 home runs in a minor league season since 1962. Between the two teams, he hit .251 with 40 home runs and 172 strikeouts. Over the offseason, he worked with two former Yankees, Jason Giambi, and Troy Tulowitzki, at the Philippi Sports Institute in Los Vegas.

In 2014 Gallo played for two minor league teams and combined hit .271/.394/.615 with 42 home runs. He started the 2015 season with the Frisco Roughriders, but on June 1st, he was promoted to the major league. With the Texas Rangers on June 2nd, he hit his first home run and had 4 RBIs. He became the first Texas Ranger ever to have four RBIs in his debut game.  In 2015 in the majors, he batted .204/.301/.417 with 6 home runs and 57 strikeouts in 108 at-bats. In 2016, Gallo spent most of the season in the minors, appearing in only 17 games for the Rangers.

In 2017 and 2018, he hit 41 and 40 home runs, respectively. In 2018 he would also record his 100th home run with the fewest singles and the fastest player to reach 100 home runs, which Gary Sanchez has since surpassed.  2019 would be his first All-Star game. For the season he batted .258 with 21 home runs in 70 games. Although always having been an excellent defender in 2020, he won his first Gold Glove Award in the Rangers outfield.

In 2021 with the Rangers, he led the team with 25 home runs batting .216 and making his second All-Star game. Like I said before, don’t look for many ground ball singles; he elevates the ball for doubles and home runs. He averages a home run in every 12.5 plate appearances. He also seems to hit them in bunches with droughts in between. Because he stays healthy, he may be tuned to play in the most games of his career and hit the most home runs of his career in a single season.

The Texas Rangers will be paying the majority of this $6 million salary this season. He will be arbitration-eligible in 2022 and will become a free agent in 2023.  Just like Anthony Rizzo, Gallo is thrilled to be a New York Yankee. Upon becoming a Yankee he chose the number 13, being the first player to wear the number since Alex Rodriguez.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees Top 10s: Looking at the Yankees worst acquisitions ever

New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury

With the New York Yankees looking to improve their team for the upcoming 2021 season, they will likely make many moves this offseason with acquisitions and trades to accomplish their goals. That makes this the perfect time to look at some of the worst Yankee acquisitions ever. The Yankees- in their glorious history, have had some of the greatest players to play the game of baseball. Players like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry, Derek Jeter, etc.  Some were farm-raised, and some were acquired.

For some franchises paying too much for a player that doesn’t work out can be financially devastating. And it can take a club a long time to recover from that purchase.  For teams more flush-like the New York Yankees, those poor choices usually can be recovered from in a short time. In other cases, a club gives up a prime prospect in a trade to get that player while significantly weakening their farm system when that player turns out to be a bomb.

When acquiring a player, the New York Yankees either have to spend money or trade players or a combination of both to get the player they want.  Some have been amazingly successful, like Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, El Duque, Roger Clemens, Roger Maris, Ricky Henderson, and many more.  But they also have had some bummers. Today we examine my picks for the Yankee’s worst acquisitions.  I based my picks on how the Yankees performed and how much they had to pay to get the performance or lack thereof.  Picks are only from the modern era.

10. Kevin Youkilis

The Yankees paid Youkilis $13 million for a one year contract for the ex-Red Sox star in 2013.  What they thought they were getting was an impeccable defender at the hot corner and an All-Star that still had horsepower under the hood.  What they got was very different.  The Youkilis that showed up in 2013 was an older man that was out of gas. He hit .219 in 28 games played before the Yankees dumped him.

9. A. J. Burnett

When A. J. Burnett came to the Yankees in 2009 from the Toronto Blue Jays, where he had an 18 win season.  The Yankee contract with Burnett was for $85.5 million over five years. Burnett was one of those players like Kenny Rogers and, more recently, Sonny Gray that couldn’t adjust to the bright lights of New York Yankee Stadium.  In his three years before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was 34-35 with an ERA of .493.

8. Pedro Feliciano

Pedro Feliciano was a two-year $8 million disaster with the Yankees. There is little to say here.  He required two shoulder surgeries after leading the AL with the most starts in the previous three years.  For the Yankees, he never pitched a game.  End of story.

7. Spike Owen

Owen was coming off a career year with the Expos, where he won a gold glove, hit .269, and racked up 24 extra-base hits.  He came to the Yankees from the Expos and was so bad at short that he didn’t even complete a year with the Yankees.  In 1993 the Yankees were in dire need of a shortstop with Prospect Derek Jeter not yet ready.  So they paid $7 million or a three-year contract.  He hit .234 with a stinking .300 OBP.  The Yankees dealt him to the Angels to playout the contract.

6. Ed Whitson

If you thought Pavano and Igawa and were bad, Ed Whitson was worse.  The New York Yankees acquired Whitson in a five year deal for $4.5 million from the Padres. For most of his career, he was a near ace pitcher but not for the Yankees.  What followed? Fifteen wins and a 5.38 earned run average over two years with the team. They dealt him back to the Padres in 1986, where they’d fork 90% of his contract the remainder of the deal.

5. Hideki Irabu

The big problem with the Irabu acquisition is that he was supposed to be the next great Yankee ace pitcher. He never even came close to being anything more than a 4th or 5th pitcher in the rotation. In his four years starting in 1997, he went 29-20, 4.80 ERA, 64 starts, 74 games, 395 2/3 IP. For this, the Yankees had to pay the San Diego Padres $3 million to acquire him and give Irabu $12.8 million over four years.

4. Kei Igawa

Wow-what a mistake this was.  Kei Igawa was a miserable pitcher.  The Yankees signed him to a 5 year $20 million contract and paid a $26 million Japanese posting fee to get him in the first place.  In 2006 Igawa started for the Yankees at the major league level.  He was 2-4, 6.66 ERA, 13 starts, 16 games, and 71 2/3 innings for his first two years.  He was then demoted to Scranton Wilkes/Barre for two years and a third-year with AA Trenton. While in the minors, Brian Cashman tried several times to send Igawa back to Japan, but Igawa refused to go.

3. Jason Giambi

Some may wonder why I have Giambi so high on this worst deal list. It’s not because he wasn’t a decent player because the Yankees paid far too much for a declining player.  There is no question that he was a star player for the Oakland Athletics.  His 40 points lower batting average with the Yankee was not deserving of his $120 million seven-year contracts.

While with the Yankees, the first baseman never was a Gold Glover, Silver Slugger, while only being an All-Star once and begin nominated for MVP twice in which he received few votes.  In 2004 due to injuries, he missed half the season.  Giambi was often a liability at first, leading him to play a lot of games as DH.  Oh, and then there was the whole doping thing.  After initially denying doing drugs, he admitted to having injected himself with human growth hormone during the 2003 season with the Yankees.

2. Carl Pavano

Carl Pavano is a pitcher that many Yankee fans don’t even remember, as he was seldom on the mound during his four years $40 million deal. Pavano was a pretty average pitcher for the Florida Marlins until 2004; he had an 18-8 year, came in 6th in the Cy Young voting, and was an All-Star.  Based on this, the Yankees decided to take a chance on this break out pitcher during the offseason. In his first year with the Yankees, he managed to pitch in only 17 games for a 4-6 record and an ERA of 4.77.

His lackluster performance in 2005 was just the beginning things were about to get worse, much worse.  In 2006 he didn’t pitch at all due to injuries.  In his last two years with the Yankees, he pitched in only nine games between injuries.  His record was a dismal 5-2 with an ERA of 5.15. The Yankees were happy to be rid of him.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury

Without a doubt, in recent memory or Yankee history, the acquisition of Jacoby Ellsbury from the Boston Red Sox was the worst ever buy.  And that’s not only in how he performed. It’s what they had to pay for him to be away from the team the majority of his Yankee contract.  General Manager Brain Cashman is undoubtedly one of the smartest traders and purchasers in the business. But in this case, he missed the mark by a mile, not only in the original contract but how this player turned out.

Ellsbury was a good player for the Red Sox, but his best years were early in his centerfield career.  In 2011 he hit .321 with 32 home runs, and the guy could steal bases.  But he would never hit those figures again.  On December 3, 2013, Ellsbury and the New York Yankees agreed in principle to a seven-year, $153 million deal, including an option for an eighth year that could increase the contract’s value to $169 million. Mistake number one was that he was never worth this gargantuan contract, to begin with.

Ellsbury never enjoyed the fan praise that Red Sox acquisition Jonny Damon received mostly due to his performance, which never reached the level that the money spent demanded.  In his Yankee employment in the first four years, he only managed less than 10 home runs a year while hitting a league average .264 batting average. That’s when a deplorable trade turned into a disaster.  In 2018 and 2019, Ellsbury never set foot on the field due to continued injuries, which led many Yankee fans to think he was faking it and just wanted to collect the money and not play.

With the 2021 season in the headlights, Jacoby Ellsbury is finally off the payroll. Many wonder in the future if Giancarlo Stanton will be on this list. He has never been the player he was in his 2017 season with the Marlins, he is often injured, and his huge contract limits what the Yankees can do with new acquisitions.

Dishonorable mentions go to Jose Contreras: 4-Years, $32 Million, paid too much for his 1 1/2 years, Kenny Rogers 4-Years, $20 million, ERA 5.12, Pascual Perez: 3-Years, $5.7 Million, drugs only won 3 games, Mel Hall: 4-Years, $4 Million, he kept the Yankees from the 1991 postseason due to his constant arguments with Don Mattingly, and finally Jaret Wright: 3-Years, $21-Million, when he became a Yankee his body fell apart.

Most of the Yankee bomb acquisitions have been pitchers strangely, but luckily for the Yankees, they have had far more successful acquisitions, and being a rich franchise has been able to handle those that weren’t.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.  Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.