Rangers manager Jeff Banister considers it an interesting proposition.
The idea of moving star prospect Joey Gallo from third base to another position to give him more options to break into the big leagues sooner has been a hot topic among fans.
But Banister pretty much closed the door on the idea Thursday morning.
“We’re going to concentrate on Joey being a third baseman,” Banister said. “That’s what he is. Look, that’s where he’s comfortable. That’s what we feel he is as an organization.”
More importantly, Banister said, was to have Gallo only concerning himself with one position during his first Major League spring training. Gallo, 21, has been shadowing Adrian Beltre, trying to learn from the future Hall of Famer.
Gallo, who MLB.com ranks as one of the top 10 prospects in the minors, spent some time in the outfield and at first base during the fall instructional league but Banister said he has no plans to put that on Gallo’s plate this spring.
“For me it was important for a young guy to come to spring training to play the position, be a part of a position on an every day basis that he’s been playing since he got into pro ball,” he said. “He’s been a third baseman. He is a third baseman.”
Gallo has flashed a steady glove in the field after a few early errors. He’s turned in some stellar plays, too, showing impressive range for a player his size (6-foot-5, 230 pounds). He leads the team with two homers this spring and is tied for the lead with six RBIs with a .280 batting average. A sign of improvement is only four strikeouts in 25 at-bats. He also has two stolen bases.
“This is a special cat. Let’s understand he’s done some really nice things this spring. He’s looked really good to this point,” Banister said. “His at-bats have been aggressive and under control. He’s trying to be that bully in the box and he’s learning every single day. The retention of him as a baseball player is exceptional but there are still things that this young man needs to work on. We want Joey to be able to play at the major league level seeking greatness when he gets to the big leagues and there’s a process by which that needs to happen.”
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760