Just a few years ago with the Texas Rangers, Joey Gallo was one of the most feared hitters in Major League Baseball.
In 2019, at the age of 25, Gallo put up a .389 on-base percentage and .598 slugging percentage in 70 games and followed that up in 2021 by hitting 38 home runs, mostly with the Texas Rangers.
But after he was traded to the New York Yankees last summer, his numbers fell off a cliff. In 58 games with the Yankees he hit just .160, with severely diminished statistics across the board.
Gallo’s start to the 2022 season wasn’t much better.
In 82 games in New York, he was even worse, hitting .159 with a .282 on-base percentage. It made him one of the worst everyday players in baseball through the first half of the season.
Once the Yankees traded for Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals, it was obvious Gallo’s time in the Bronx would be coming to an end.
Sure enough, at the deadline he was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a pitching prospect after LA failed to acquire Juan Soto.
It’s already been a much more successful few games in LA, as Gallo hit an important 3-run homer in Wednesday’s win over the Minnesota Twins.
Joey Gallo: ‘Good For Both Sides’
He spoke to reporters after the game and discussed how he felt a fresh start was best for all parties.
“It was good for both sides,” Gallo said. “It was the best opportunity for me, and for them they got a great All-Star outfielder to play in my place. I’ll never have any hard feelings about that, I didn’t do my job to my abilities, but it’s always nice to have a fresh start.”
He also specifically highlighted how the change in living arrangements has been beneficial, going from a “small apartment” in New York to much improved surroundings in LA.
“I’m living by the beach right now so that’s pretty nice,” Gallo said. “No offense to New York but I was living in a small apartment for the same price.”
Whether Gallo can turn his small sample size success with the Dodgers into something more sustainable remains to be seen, but it’s clear that he wasn’t a good fit with the Yankees.
When that’s the case, there’s nothing else to do but try a change in scenery. Leaving New York for more desirable surroundings can’t help but be beneficial.
Someone might need to check with Gallo on how he manages his finances though. It’s hard to believe that, even in Manhattan, he was living in a small apartment, considering he’s making over $10 million this year.