Joey Gallo named All-Star Futures Game MVP
by: Jay Wallis
As Frisco RoughRiders infielder Joey Gallo continues to progress through the different levels of professional baseball, he has taken the changes of play in stride. He faced a new challenge Sunday afternoon and showcased the extraordinary power that has been pushing him forward.
Gallo was honored with the Most Valuable Player award for the 2014 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday at Target Field.
The lefty played for the U.S. Team, which took down the World Team 3-2. It wouldn’t have happened without a mammoth go-ahead home run from Gallo.
After the World Team picked up two runs in the top of the sixth, the U.S. faced a 2-1 deficit with the middle of the lineup up to bat. The 20-year-old phenomenon faced Astros pitching product Michael Feliz in the bottom of the sixth inning with a man on second. After patiently letting two balls go by, Gallo keyed in on a 95-mph fastball that Feliz left over the plate and showed off the torque he can generate by crushing the 2-0 pitch out of the park. The home run measured at 419 feet, according to the MLB Network’s live broadcast.
Gallo, 20, finished the night 1-for-4 as the DH for a U.S. Team that has won five consecutive matchups and 10 of 16 overall. The Frisco product is the first All-Star Futures Game MVP from the Texas Rangers organization.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that Gallo went yard since he is tied with Cubs product Kris Bryant in leading all professional baseball with 31 home runs on the year. Splitting time with both the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans and Double-A ‘Riders in 2014, Gallo is batting .307 (89-for-290) with 73 RBI, 16 doubles and three triples. He has shown better plate discipline and pitch recognition as the season has moved along.
The 6-5, 205-pound Nevada native has been generating buzz since the moment he arrived in Frisco. In his very first game at the Double-A level, with plenty of the DFW media intensively watching his every move, Gallo hit a two-out, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give his new team the dramatic victory.