Joey Gallo moved back into a tie with Kris Bryant and Peter O’Brien for the most home runs in the minor leagues in dramatic fashion on Monday night as he smashed a three-run, walk-off home run as a member of the Frisco RoughRiders against the Midland RockHounds (OAK).
While the ninth-inning home run was Gallo’s first Double-A hit, he did get onto the stat sheet with an RBI ground out in the bottom of the first inning, hitting the fourth pitch he saw to first baseman Max Muncy which allowed left fielder Jake Smolinski to score from third.
After that, Gallo struck out swinging on four pitches to end the second inning, struck out swinging on six pitches for the second out in the fifth and struck out looking on seven pitches for the second out in the seventh.
In the ninth, with the score tied at fours, Gallo stepped to the plate with two out in the bottom of the ninth with runners on first and second. He took the third pitch he saw, one that was up and out over the plate, over the left-center field fence (going Oppo-Taco) for the big fly to win the ballgame.
All in all, a dramatic way to make a Double-A debut for Gallo who had 21 home runs and was hitting .323/.463/.735 in 246 plate appearances over 58 games for High-A Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League.
The 20 year old Gallo, the 39th pick overall in the 2012 draft, also led the minor leagues in home runs last year with 40 and has been in competition with Kris Bryant of the Cubs (in Double-A Tennessee) and Peter O’Brien of the Yankees (through High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton) for the home run title this year. All three have 21 home runs and it’s been an interesting race to watch this season.
Gallo is the youngest of the three and while Kris Bryant is the “newest” to professional baseball, having been drafted last year, Gallo has destroyed the minor leagues and is probably on pace to reach the big leagues some time next year if he keeps mashing as he has so far.