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You've Got To Feel For Joey Gallo

Nobody likes struggling. Nobody likes to struggle on the biggest stage in America—New York City.

The MLB trade deadline of August 2nd fast approaches, and it appears New York Yankee slugger Joey Gallo is on the block. A piece in The Athletic today confirmed that Gallo is on the block, especially after the Yankees traded for "Anti-Gallo" in Andrew Benintendi. The thing is, the quotes from Gallo make me feel terrible for him.

Failure is Failure But These Men Are Human

“Every time I see a Yankees hat, every time I see a Yankees jersey, it’s something I’m going to have to understand. I didn’t play well as a Yankee. I wish I had.” - Joey Gallo

It is hard to fail for us mere mortals, but we fail every day. Imagine being a player so elite that you make it to the major leagues. That feat alone is incredible and worthy of remarking about. Most of us cannot imagine the frustrations of getting to the big leagues only to struggle when you make it. Imagine then, getting to the big leagues, succeeding for a certain amount of time, and then suddenly you lose it?

Everything Was Bigger In Texas

In 2018, Gallo played 148 games and hit 40 home runs. In 2019, injuries kept him from a full season but in 74 games he slashed .253/.389/.598 with 22 home runs. That was good for a robust 145 OPS+. Gallo's career home run rate in a 162-game average is 39. With that said, he's always been an anomaly. His career average is .201 but with an OPS over .800. He is the dictionary definition of a "three true outcomes" player. He consistently leads the lead in strikeouts but is also at the top of the league in walks.

In New York, however, the good numbers dissipated and the bad numbers inflated. Gallo is hitting .159/.282/.339 with 12 home runs.

In 139 games for the Yankees, Gallo has hit .159/.291/.368 for a .660 OPS. This is a huge dip from the .833 OPS he had in seven seasons in Texas with the Rangers. He also slashed .211/.336/.497 there. It's just simply not good enough for a Yankees team trying to get to the World Series.

New York Fans Are Forgiving and Kind, Right?

Yeah, not so much. It's easy to take shots at New York City sports fans because they're rowdy and judgmental, but they also expect a lot in a city where the Yankees have 27 championships. Gallo isn't the kind of player who denies his struggles, and frankly, that's sad.

“This is a tough place to not play well,” Gallo said of New York. “It’s hard to deal with, and at the end of the day, you want to make fans happy and proud. So when you are understandably getting not-good feedback from them on a constant basis, it’s tough. It doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. But that’s something I needed to learn, and I see it as part of growing for me as a person and as a player.”

Last Thoughts

Gallo is never going to be a high-contact guy, but one has to believe he can find the power again. The Yankees are set without Gallo at this point, so his departure is imminent. Here's to hoping a team could use Gallo because he has tremendous upside. At minimum, a team could acquire Gallo who is still good with the glove and if he finds his power again—a dangerous hitter. Good luck, Joey.