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:
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.”
Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.
Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.
Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.