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NY Post
New York Post
29 Apr 2023

NextImg:Believe in Twins’ Joey Gallo for your fantasy baseball roster

In March 2018, Roto Rage labeled Joey Gallo as the most overvalued first baseman when he was being selected as a top-100 fantasy player, calling him “a streaky hitter who has the ability to seduce you with his power,” and saying, “Gallo is a risk you should let someone else take.”

At the time, Roto Rage believed that was sound advice — not because Gallo is or was a bad player, but because there were better options available who would bring more balance to fantasy rosters.


(FYI: In 2018, he slugged 40 homers and drove in 92 runs, but hit .206 and struck out in 35.9 percent of his at-bats.)

Not only has a lot happened since then (hello, COVID), but living in the past just makes it hard to move forward.

Gallo smashed 151 homers from 2017-21, including two 40-plus homer seasons and one in which he smacked 38.

But fantasy managers largely ignored him after he landed with the Twins this offseason.


It could be because he hit .183 with 376 strikeouts over the past two seasons with the Rangers, Yankees and Dodgers, and is a career .200 hitter.

It could be because of his 37.2 percent career strikeout rate or the fact he has hit above .209 for an entire season once in his nine-year career.

Whatever the reason, that is based on something Gallo did in the past.

So, instead of dwelling on the past, let’s focus the prospect of Gallo being a viable fantasy option in 2023.


After he missed 10 games because of a right intercostal strain he suffered on April 7, Gallo has hit a respectable .250 with four homers, seven RBIs, six runs, a 1.114 OPS and a 27.3 percent strikeout rate (obviously that isn’t great) in his first nine games back.

Gallo has had a strong start to the season with the Twins.
AP Photo/Abbie Parr

Over his first 16 games, Gallo hit .261 with seven home runs, 14 RBIs, 10 runs, a .783 slugging percentage, 13.2 percent walk rate and 1.141 OPS.

His strikeout rate was an ugly 30.2 percent, but that is still 7 percent better than his career average.


Gallo has done most of his damage from the bottom third of the order.

He has hit from the No. 7 spot in the lineup during nine of his 14 starts, and has hit .346 batting there with six homers, 12 RBIs and a 1.546 OPS.

Before Friday, Gallo’s slugging percentage, OPS and isolated power (.522) were  the best in the majors among players with a minimum of 50 plate appearances.

His contact rate was a career-best 68.8 percent and he was swinging at fewer pitches outside the strike zone.

His hard-hit percentage (77.8) ranked first among players with at least 25 batted-ball events, according to Baseball Savant, as was his average exit velocity (98 mph).

His maximum exit velocity (112.6 mph) was in the top 6 percent of the bigs.

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On top of Gallo absolutely crushing the ball, his expected batting average (.245) and expected slugging percentage (.802) support what he has been doing. 


Yes, the sample size for all of these numbers is small, but if you were told there was a chance Joey Gallo would hit in the mid-.240s with an ever-so-slightly reduced strikeout rate while displaying his typical power, would you think he’d be rostered in just 15 percent of ESPN leagues (or 48 percent at Yahoo)?

No way! Fantasy managers would have jumped on the power potential late in drafts.

Maybe the shift ban is assisting in his improved batting average. Maybe Minnesota, a smaller-market team, is what he needed after playing parts of the past two seasons, with miserable results, in bigger markets.

No matter what the reason for Gallo’s solid start, fantasy managers need to stop living in the past and start focusing more on the present.


Masataka Yoshida OF, Red Sox

Entered the weekend on a seven-game hitting streak — going 13-for-28 (.464) with three homers, 10 RBIs, five runs and 1.305 OPS in that span.

Mitch Keller SP, Pirates

Hasn’t allowed more than three ERs in any of his past five starts while going 3-0 with a 2.90 ERA, 32 strikeouts and .224 opponents’ average.


Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller

Keller hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his past five starts.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Adolis Garcia OF, Rangers

Smashed six homers and drove in 24 runs in 15 games before Friday. Hit .271 with a .627 slugging percentage,.951 OPS and 14 runs in that span.

David Bednar RP, Pirates


Allowed one earned run over his first 12 appearances while striking out 11.3 per nine.

He owns a 22.6 swinging-strike rate, the second-best mark in the majors among pitchers with a minimum of 10 innings pitched.

Nick Lodolo SP, Reds

Allowed four earned runs over his first three starts while striking out 27 and maintaining a 2.12 ERA, but is 0-1 with a 14.54 ERA, five homers allowed and .488 opponents’ average over his past two outings.


Andres Gimenez SS, Guardians

 In 14 games between April 9 and Thursday, his average dropped from .350 to .253 after going 8-for-47 (.170) with no homers or RBIs and a .456 OPS.

Cleveland Guardians' Andres Gimenez gestures as he runs the bases after hitting a home run against the Seattle Mariners in the seventh inning during a baseball game Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Seattle.

Andres Gimenez’s average has dropped in 14 games.
AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson

Noah Syndergaard SP, Dodgers


Winless in five starts with a 6.58 ERA, and is 0-3 with a 8.10 ERA, five homers allowed and .326 opponents’ average over his past four.

Myles Straw OF, Guardians

After hitting .343 with six stolen bases in his first 11 games, he was hitting .200 with one stolen base and a .422 OPS in his next 13.


Rhys Witherspoon

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