Cubs prospect third baseman Kris Bryant has been getting most of the attention this spring for his impressive power exploits, but as you’ll see below, Rangers prospect third baseman Joey Gallo is also capable of hitting baseballs very, very far. Here’s a three-run shot to right off Giants right-hander Jake Peavy yesterday:
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Listed at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, the 21-year-old Gallo hit 41 homers with a 1.009 OPS last season between High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco. Baseball America recently ranked him as the No. 6 prospect in the game. Strikeouts are an issue for him, but new Rangers manager Jeff Banister put it best yesterday (via Richard Justice of MLB.com):
“This cat here, he touches the ball, he’s going to do some damage.”
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.