Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers made a low-risk, high-reward move at the 2022 trade deadline by acquiring Joey Gallo from the New York Yankees in exchange for pitching prospect Clayton Beeter.
At the time of the trade, Gallo was batting .159/.282/.339 with four doubles, 12 home runs, an 82 wRC+ and MLB-worst 39% strikeout rate. Still, the Dodgers believed in what Gallo could do because he was the prize at the trade deadline just one season earlier when the Yankees made a deal to pry him from the Texas Rangers.
“A year ago he was worth a lot in the industry and got traded for a lot. The true talent level remains,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said at the time. “We feel like getting him here, getting him with our guys, that there’s a real compelling upside story.”
Gallo got off to a nice start following the trade, hitting .203/.311/.469 with four home runs and a 122 wRC+ over his first 24 games, but he fell off after that, batting .162/.277/.393 with four doubles, one triple, seven home runs and a 94 wRC+ over 44 total games with the Dodgers.
While the results weren’t what he or the Dodgers hoped for, Gallo came to the team in a bad place with both his mentality and his mechanics and needed the offseason to sort them out, he told David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports:
“As a hitter, when I came here, I was in a bad spot. Mentally, I was pretty defeated. But also my swing was at a point where I felt like it was tough to fix and it needed an overhaul. I needed that time off. I think even with (Cody) Bellinger, I know him very well and we just played them, so I got to talk to him. I think we kind of needed that.
“You need that time off. You need that three, four months to kind of revamp everything, forget about the season and just kind of move on. They did everything they could here to help me and help me get on track. I think I contributed to some wins for the team and did alright, but I wasn’t the best player I could be. But I think they did as much as they could and tried to help me.”
Overall last season, Gallo hit .160/.280/.357 with 19 home runs and an 85 wRC+. The two-time All-Star entered free agency looking for a fresh start, and ultimately signed on a one-year, $11 million contract with the Minnesota Twins.
Gallo’s agent, Scott Boras, expressed optimism the 29-year-old would re-establish his value in 2023 if given an opportunity to play daily, and so far that has been the case.
Gallo’s batting average just .202 with a .318 on-base percentage, but both numbers are similar to his career marks. Of course, Gallo’s calling card is his power, and so far he has a .564 slugging percentage with nine home runs, 17 runs scored, 21 RBI and a 140 wRC+. Gallo’s strikeout rate is also roughly 5% below his career mark.
The left-handed slugger is on pace for the second-best season of his career, and if he keeps up this production, he should sign a significant multi-year deal in the offseason as one of the top power bats available.
Joey Gallo appeared in Baseball-Reference ‘2022 Sportify Wrapped’
The Dodgers were well represented in Baseball-Reference’s “2022 Sportify Wrapped,” which ranked the players and teams who were most searched on their website.
Gallo had the 10th-most player page views of the 2022 season, and former teammate Freddie Freeman had the most page views in New Mexico.
The Dodgers were the most viewed team page in the state of California for a second consecutive year.
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