Rangers prospect Joey Gallo destroyed high Single-A to the tune of a .323 batting average, 21 homers, and a 1.199 OPS in 58 games, earning the slugging third baseman a much-deserved promotion to Double-A over the weekend.
Gallo made his Double-A debut last night and the 20-year-old former first-round draft pick delivered a walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game. Because, really, why wouldn’t that be what happened?
Of course, the big question with Gallo despite his spectacular production in the low minors and ridiculous raw power is whether he can control the strike zone well enough to thrive versus more advanced pitching. And sure enough, before the walk-off homer he was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts last night.
Gallo leads the minors with 22 homers this season and has homered 84 times in 229 career games, but he’s also racked up 317 strikeouts in those 229 games. I’m very curious to see how he fares against Double-A pitchers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.