Rangers top prospect Joey Gallo is scheduled to have the stitches removed from his left heel on Friday. He’ll be examined by foot specialists Dr. John Crates and hopes to miss only 10 games of Double A Frisco’s season, which starts Thursday at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Gallo, 21, had surgery last week as spring training was winding down. He’ll get to shed a protective boot on his left foot later this week. It was an eventful spring for the third baseman, who ranks as the sixth top prospect in the minors by Baseball America. He took part in his first Major League camp where he got to know and learn from mentor Adrian Beltre and other Rangers veterans.
“I think the experience was good for me,” Gallo said Tuesday during the Roughriders media day. “Being around those guys and hopefully my future teammates, being around them, getting to know them and kind of building a relationship with them, I think that was huge for me.”
Beltre, the unquestioned leader in the major league clubhouse, is typically quiet and hard to read, which had Gallo wondering how the spring would go. But he was pleasantly surprise.
“Yeah, I got closer than I thought I would. He’s nicer than I thought,” he said. “He was awesome. Him, Prince [Fielder], Elvis [Andrus], everybody was really nice.”
When he was sent back down to minor league camp on March 23 it was not a surprise to Gallo.
“I knew I wasn’t going to make it,” he said. “I kind of set that in my head no matter how good I did I wasn’t going to make it so when I did get sent down it wasn’t that big of a deal, I understood it.”
Gallo hit 42 home runs with 106 RBI in High A and Double A in 2014. He’s fine with returning to Frisco instead of moving up to Triple A Round Rock to start 2015. He hit .250 with two homers and six RBI in 32 at-bats during major league spring training. He improved his strike zone and struck out only eight times.
“I feel like I made a lot of adjustments in big league camp and I was doing bettrer than I thought I would,” Gallo said.
The Rangers like having Gallo and other top, young prospects, including outfielder Nomar Mazara and catcher Jorge Alfaro, close by.
“I think they like that it’s 30 minutes away and they can drive out and see us play whenever,” he said.
Plus, he said, he likes playing with many of the same teammates he’s had the past four seasons.
“I love playing with all these guys and hopefully we can all move up together,” he said. “That would be special.”
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760