The 2012 amateur draft is only five days away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Joey Gallo | 3B/RHP
A two-way star and Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Gallo hit the tenth longest homerun in Petco Park history while participating in a wood bat showcase event last summer.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 200 lbs., Gallo is legitimate first round talent both on the mound and as a position player. He prefers to hit and went to great lengths to keep his pitching schedule a secret so scouts couldn’t see him this spring. Gallo has tremendous raw power from the left side, arguably the most in the draft, and he’s capable of hitting the ball out to all fields. He doesn’t make enough contact however, and there are real concerns about his ability to handle pro offspeed pitches. Although he’s athletic for his size, he’ll likely have to move across the diamond to first base because his hands and footwork aren’t good.
On the mound, Gallo runs his fastball up to 98 and will sit in the mid-90s. His power slider needs work but flashes swing-and-miss-ability on its best days. Like most high schoolers, he needs to improve his overall command and changeup.
Keith Law (#23), Baseball America (#33), and MLB.com (#33) all agree that Gallo is a back-half of the first round talent as a hitter, though he might have been in the conversation for the first overall pick had he focused on pitching this spring. It’s worth noting that Law had the Yankees selecting Gallo with their first rounder (#30 overall) in his latest mock draft, so there’s some interest there. The contact issues will be overlooked because power is so hard to find, plus he’ll always have the fallback option of returning to the mound.