Joey Gallo, who played for the Hickory Crawdads last summer, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Major League Baseball Futures Game Sunday at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN.
Gallo went 1-4 with a two-run homer as the U.S. Team defeated The World Team, 3-2. The announced distance on Gallo's home run was 419 feet, which several press-box observers thought was too conservative. Gallo, who is 20-years-old and a top prospect in the Texas Rangers organization, led the minor leagues with 38 home runs last season as a member of the Crawdads. He's currently tied for the minor-league lead this season with 31 home runs.
Gall0 began the 2014 season as a member of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the high Class A Carolina League. He belted 21 home runs in 58 games with the Pelicans before he was promoted to the Frisco RoughRiders of the Class AA Texas League. Gallo is hitting .277 in 27 games at Frisco with ten home runs.
He has made significant strides as a hitter from his first full pro season to his second. A year ago, Gallo batted .245 with 165 strikeouts and 48 walks in 446 plate appearances. He has exhibited better discipline in 2014, hitting .307 with 113 whiffs and 65 walks in 362 trips to the plate, which helped him earn a promotion to Double-A in early June.
Gallo has hit 93 home runs in his minor league career. He was selected by the Rangers in the first round (39th pick overall) of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Bishop Gorman High School in Vegas, NV. This was also Gallo's second Futures Game selection.
Photo Courtesy: Joey Gallo, Hickory Crawdads