News Column

Futures Game: Powerful Rangers prospect seizes spotlight

July 14, 2014

By Chad Graff, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.



July 14--The shattered windshield of a red Chevrolet Silverado, positioned more than 400 feet from home plate at Target Field, served as proof of Joey Gallo's power.

Gallo's batting practice performance turned the heads of fellow prospects and damaged a truck parked beyond the right-field fence.

But it was Gallo's sixth-inning, two-run homer that landed near the already battered truck that helped give the U.S. team a 3-2 win over the World team Sunday in the Futures Game at Target Field. It was the fifth straight victory for the Americans in the game, which features top prospects from around the minors.

"When I connect, I can usually hit the ball pretty far," Gallo said.

Chicago Cubs prospect Javier Baez launched a two-run shot in the top half of the sixth to give the World squad a short-lived 2-1 lead.

Then Gallo, a Texas Rangers prospect, put the U.S. team up for good.

"He's got that (home run swing)," U.S. manager and former Twins manager Tom Kelly said. "He gets a good spin on the ball. In batting practice you could see the ball just travels really well for him."

Kelly threw batting practice to Gallo before the game.

"I hurt my neck turning my head," Kelly joked. "I was told to watch (for him), and it was entertaining."

The U.S. team recorded the game's first run in the third inning when catcher Kevin Plawecki, a Mets prospect, drove in Reds prospect Jesse Winker, who led off the inning with a double.

Twins pitching prospects -- Alex Meyer for the U.S. and J.O. Berrios for the World -- pitched a scoreless inning for their respective teams.

Meyer needed just four pitches to get out of the fifth inning, and Berrios recorded one strikeout and didn't allow a hit in the first inning.

Twins first base prospect Kennys Vargas went 1 for 4 for the World team with a fourth-inning double and two strikeouts.

It was Gallo, who finished 1 for 4, who made the biggest impact, however.

"I haven't seen the truck yet," Gallo said after the game, "but I heard I got it pretty good."

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(c)2014 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)

Visit the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) at www.twincities.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Saint Paul Pioneer Press (MN)


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