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June 10, 2014

Going Yard

Joey Gallo

by Ryan Parker


Everyone wants to talk about Joey Gallo’s power, and why not? Dude has power like Kanye West has ego. He hit 40 home runs last year, and his prodigious power has my early-season proclamation of “don’t expect [him] to be a fast mover” looking silly. His power is a legitimate 80, but that’s not what I want to focus on. The reason Joey Gallo’s stock is exploding this year is his ability to make productive changes to his swing.

As a hitting coach, I realize Gallo might not be making these changes on his own, and that is almost more admirable. Gallo’s power is so extreme he could have made very few changes to his swing and still reached the big leagues at 25 and hit 25-plus home runs. His ability to constantly improve his swing (or listen to good coaching) has him on track to reach the big leagues at 21 or 22 and hit 35-plus. This fact even speaks to his makeup, as it suggests he is not willing to coast on his skills and instead seeks continual improvement.

His current swing is built to send baseballs screaming over fences at an alarming rate. It wasn’t always this locked in. Thanks to YouTube there is footage of Gallo from his sophomore year in high school to his current trek through the minor leagues.

We start with a young and skinny Gallo doing things to baseballs that mere mortals can’t comprehend. Notice how even the camera’s focus is affected by the power resulting from his swing. I love watching early swings of guys because you can see traces of their mechanical identity. I observed three separate qualities to his innate swing:

First we have a synchronization of his hands and feet. This is not unique to Joey, not by a mile, but I choose to highlight it for a teachable moment. Hitting is timing, and losing timing within your own swing is terrible. By getting the hands and feet in lockstep, you avoid a potential timing hurdle. Why have two movements to time (move the feet, then hands) when you can have one (move the hands and the feet together)? Joey avoids this hurdle in his own identity and follows the trails of the maestros of hitting. These three hitters (Longo, Miggy, Joey Bats) show how to synchronize the feet and hands even with very different striding patterns.

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Related Content:  Texas Rangers,  Prospects,  Scouting

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (06/10)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Going Yard: The Swing ... (05/20)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Going Yard: Super Hits... (07/08)
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Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (06/10)

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