Top prospect Joey Gallo said that he will be nervous for his major-league debut Tuesday night with the Texas Rangers, but his month at big-league spring training helped prepare him for his first taste of the big leagues.
Gallo was to bat sixth and play third base in the Rangers’ first game with Adrian Beltre on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained and lacerated left wrist. Gallo, 21, batted .314 with nine homers and 31 RBIs in 34 games for Double A Frisco and was headed to Triple A Round Rock before the Rangers promoted him Monday.
“You only get one first major-league game, so I’ll try to make the best out of it,” Gallo said. “I didn’t really expect to be here, honestly. I was planning on going to Round Rock. I was about to drive down before I got the call, so it was a pretty nice surprise.
“It’s nice to know I’m going to come up here and get my feet wet and just try and help the team win and not come up here and try to be a full-time replacement right now.”
Gallo said that he would like to make it hard on the Rangers to send him down once Beltre is healthy. But he also said that he would be fine with a demotion even if he is flourishing.
The Rangers are curious to see if he has improved defensively since spring training. That was the focus of the conversation when he was reassigned to minor-league camp in March.
But getting to be around the big-league players and coaches in Arizona helped him prepare for the season and his first opportunity with the Rangers.
“I think the major league spring training was big for me, being around these guys, being around the clubhouse, the atmosphere,” Gallo said. “I think that helped more, obviously, making adjustments to the game. I went back to Double A and played pretty well, so I feel as confident as I’ve been so far in my career.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760