Joey Gallo was selected by the Texas Rangers with the 39th pick (the Rangers second selection in the draft, a compensatory pick due to the loss of C.J. Wilson to free agency) in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Gallo shortly thereafter began his career with the Rangers in the Arizona League, where he hit an all-time league record 18 home runs. Gallo played 43 games in Arizona, posting a .293/.435/.733 slash line before being promoted to short-season Spokane, where he mashed another four home runs in 16 games.
Joey Gallo: Not close at all honestly. I've always wanted to be a hitter growing up. Pitching was always something I did to help my high school team win. Never really had a passion for it the way I do as a hitter.
PD: Did you feel the impact of the new rules of the CBA, being drafted this year? Did that impact your decision to sign with the Rangers quickly and begin your professional career?
JG: Well everybody did because of the new draft rules and it being the first year they were in effect. But I wouldn't say it impacted my decision to sign earlier. I wanted to start my professional career as soon as possible and get a season under my belt. So I was ready to sign right when the Rangers drafted me.
PD: What is the biggest challenge for you, jumping into pro ball?
JG: Playing every day was definitely a challenge for me. Getting your body and mind prepared to play at a professional level every day is always tough.
PD: How happy are you, to be in the Rangers organization?
JG: Couldn't be any happier. Best organization in baseball, hands down, with an amazing fan base.
PD: Can you describe your AZL experience?
JG: It was a great experience. I had a good time getting to know all the players I'm going to be teammates with for the next few years. I'm glad I got to play there for my first professional season. I learned a lot and it will help me down the road.
PD: Have you had to make any adjustments, as far as defense, and/or hitting?
JG: I've made quite a few adjustments fielding, just getting a better first step and getting my feet in position to throw the ball. And with hitting I'm just trying to get more consistent and try to cut back on strikeouts a little bit.
PD: What is the best thing you have experienced as a Ranger prospect? Meeting Nolan, a player, etc.?
JG: To be honest the best thing I've experienced so far has been the support from Texas Ranger fans. Best fans in baseball.
PD: Who is the most talented player you played with or against in the AZL?
JG: Lewis Brinson is definitely the most talented. He played center field all year with me on the AZL team and he led in most hitting categories for the whole league. I'm excited to move up with him and start our path the majors. He is going to be a special ballplayer!