Re-June-venated: Gallo showing signs of life

2022 was set to be a big year for a big guy in the Bronx. Outfielder Joey Gallo, after a relatively disappointing Yankee debut last year, would be more comfortable and looking for a bounceback heading into his free agency. However, the season got off to a terrible start, with plenty of boos to go along with the bad performance. Luckily, Gallo has turned it on a bit more in June as the Yankees have steamrolled the competition so far this month.

In June, Gallo is hitting to a .360 wOBA, good for a 139 wRC+. This surge has brought his season wRC+ up to a respectable 94. In April (76 wRC+) and May (87 wRC+), this level of production seemed near impossible, but here it is, along with some tangible reasons for it.

One tangible reason is a lack of ground balls. After running up grounder tallies in the mid-30’s for each of the season’s first two months, Joey has dropped down to under 17% grounders in June. Considering the shifts Gallo sees, this is huge. It’s happened across the board, too:

June has seen Gallo drop his ground ball rates dramatically on breaking and offspeed pitches, as well as fall to literally zero against fastballs. Not surprisingly, this has come with a corresponding jump in launch angle, especially against said fastballs:

A rise in power has corresponded, naturally, with these competing batted ball results as his ISO has climbed every month: .115 to .161 to .326.

Speaking of pitch types, aside from crushing fastballs in June (.368 ISO), he’s made a big improvement against breaking balls. With four hits against them–including a double and a homer–he’s got more against breaking balls in June than he did in April (1) and May (0) combined. So what can he do to keep this up?

Aside from not driving the ball into the ground, one thing Gallo may want to do is swing less. His swing numbers have jumped way up this year, encapsulated by his overall percentage, which has jumped from 40.4 to 50.7. This includes jumps at or around ten points in, zone swing rate and chase rate as well as a near 20% jump (!) in first pitch swings. This is most definitely costing him runs.

Gallo’s takes are plus 10, which is good. But he’s given all that value back with -17 swing runs, especially around the shadow of the plate, ones he probably should be taking. Maybe if he gets back to swinging at those ones less, his production will ramp back up over the closing months of the season.

Joey Gallo seems like a good dude who’s easy to root for. He put himself in fan’s negative sights early on, but he’s starting to come out of it. As he does, I hope those who booed begin to cheer just as vociferously.

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8 Comments

  1. Cuso

    So is this site done, now? Been a while since last post.

  2. Bam Bam Muelens

    The play sir, is over. Gallo’s a gaping black hole in the lineup. He’s had almost a whole season in pinstripes to prove himself and has failed. If he was going to hit 35-40 HRs and hit .215 – in this era you could live with it. But he’s got a .600 OPS.

    But Gallo can be stubborn. 2nd and 3rd, 1-out, 2-strikes – he’s not choking up. He’s not trying to put the ball in play. He’s going for a 3-run HR.

    Gallo’s the guy that scores 20 PPG on a bad team. He’s not fit to be anything significant on a winning team.

    Cash lost the trade. Gallo has no value. Just cut him and give Andujar a shot. Miggy at least can give you competitive at bats and put the ball in play. Give Miggy this month as the regular LF – if he’s not the guy either – make a trade.

    But I can’t keep watching the rally killer go 0/4 with 3 K’s every game.

    I’m sure he’s a good guy. But let him hit .190 with 35 HRs for a 50-win Reds team.

  3. This is one hell of an article to end on!

  4. Gallo is now 0-24 with 13 K’s, he’s really coming on!

    Gallo is, without a doubt, the worst major league hitter I’ve ever seen. He couldn’t hit a fastball above the waist with a tennis racket, can’t sniff a change up anywhere, and can’t hit lefties.

    I’m not someone who gets all pissed off about players but it would be a real shame if the Yankees stand pat at tthe trade deadline instead of getting an outfielder who can both hit and play good defense-Hicks isn’t exactly tearing anything up either and Stanton only plays about half the games in the field.

    Picking up Marwin Gonzales is turning out to be a great move, he plays so many positions well, has some pop, and plays hard every time he gets the chance.

  5. Mban

    God I miss River ave blues

  6. This Year

    Obviously this is no longer a “Yankee blog”. The guys who started with such enthusiasm have been engulfed by life. No sin there. It just makes me respect what Mike Axisa did at RAB so much more– and is still doing. He started with a group of guys as well, and only he persevered. Maybe he was the only one who did not have a family or other responsibilities. But regardless, what he did at RAB and now on Patreon (3 dollars a month– well worth it) is truly amazing. And he tried to help these guys get going as well (as a few of the writers wrote for RAB as well). Life just goes on, I guess. Sad, but thanks for trying, guys.

    • MikeD

      Mike made it a career, first working for other sites, then eventually being hired by CBS, and now a Patreon that also brings in significant income. So, yeah, we’re in agreement.

  7. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    Are we watching the same games, Matt? I swear, the sabermetric community just doesn’t want to admit when it’s wrong. Last year it was Gary, this year it’s Gallo. All I see is a guy hitting .180 and striking out 4 times a game. Even Boone has given up batting Joey 9th and today the ultimate slap in the face, getting pinch hit for by the backup catcher with the game on the line. At least Hicks had a big hit yesterday with the bases loaded. I don’t think Gallo has gotten a big hit in his life. But it’s hard to be negative when they’re winning 75% of their games even after today’s blown loss. Let’s keep it going in Tampa and effectively end the division by July.

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