It was not all that long ago when the home run in fantasy baseball became a valued commodity as the pitching fraternity dominating the proceedings and much of the reasoning behind this development was major league baseball moving away from the steroid era. As a result, those batters who were capable of launching 30-plus and especially 40-plus home runs were incredibly valued and went for a premium price at the draft table. Fast forward to present day and the home run in fantasy baseball is now an oversaturated statistic to the point that 25 long balls are looked at with a yawn. Be that as it may, there is still something magical about the 40-home run plateau and those still rare number of players who can get there. One such player is Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo who has achieved the feat in back-to-back campaigns and who goes into the 2019 season at just the age of 25. Of course, the downside with Gallo is a significant one and it centers on his truly pitiful batting average which has come in at .209 and .206 the last two seasons. The blame for that goes squarely on Gallo's pathetic strikeout rate which has come dangerously close to the 40.0 since reaching the majors. With all that said, let's dig in again on Gallo in order to see if he can change this up-and-down narrative heading into the new season.
The most obvious talking point with Gallo is his true three-outcome approach which means any one of his given at-bats results in either a strikeout, a walk, or a home run. Gallo takes this result to the extreme as he walks a ton, strikes out at a ridiculous pace, and swats 40 homers in between. 2018 was no different as Gallo put up the following numbers:
So as you can see, Gallo helps in a big way in home runs and also is a prime asset in RBI and a decent contributor in runs due to a high OBP helped by the 12.8 BB/9. Unfortunately, a lot of the value from those homers gets eaten away by the vast negative from the batting average which at .206 is a huge problem. When you strike out at higher than a 35.0 percent clip, the average is going to be pathetic no matter how much you walk and this is the scarlett letter that Gallo carries around. Be that as it may, Gallo's homers are monstrous and as an added bonus, he carries eligibility at first base, third base, and the outfield which should not be overlooked. Still, you really need to make sure you are covered in the batting average category if you invest Gallo and his massive hot and cold streaks make him one of the most aggravating players to own.
2019 PROJECTION: .215 42 HR 95 RBI 86 R 5 SB