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06/12/2014

Expect this 20-year-old to be a Texas Ranger this season

Odor_ready_to_swing_jy9kckdm_x4zljve7ARLINGTON, Texas - September is a ways away, but Joey Gallo is coming to Arlington when Major League Baseball allows for rosters to be expanded.

Third base is occupied - for now - by veteran big bat Adrian Beltre, but expect big little kid Gallo to be wearing a Texas Rangers jersey in September. He is 20 years old, and has a total of seven at bats for Double A Frisco.

On Wednesday at the Ballpark, Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels met with the media and addressed Gallo's start. I asked him about the temptation of promoting Gallo, and specifically violating the concept that minor league players need a certain amount of at bats at every level before making the major leagues.

JD referenced the time Torii Hunter needed to make the majors - seven years. And then JD referenced how long it took Mike Trout.

Mike Trout, arguably one of baseball's top three hitters, needed four years of minor league ball before he was promoted to Anaheim.

Scan0003JD was not comparing Gallo or Trout to Hunter, but rather saying there is no set timeline for any prospect; when the team thinks he's ready, that's when he gets the call.

This is Gallo's third season of pro ball, so if he is on the "Mike Trout Path", he won't be in Arlington this year. What changes this scenario is the Rangers' 2014 season, which is not going according to plan. If the team is out of it, Gallo's promotion in September is a given.

Since he began his pro career as an 18-year-old, his ascent has been rather decent - in 2013, in rookie ball, he hit 40 home runs with 88 RBI. This season for Class A Myrtle Beach, he hit 21 home runs with 50 RBI in 246 at bats.

He was recently promoted to Double A Frisco, where he has two home runs with 6 RBI in nine plate appearances and a .429 average. In his first game for the Rough Riders this week, he hit a walk off home run.

Despite his youth and that he has just a total of 813 minor league at bats, the fact that the big league team is struggling and the team has shown its not unafraid to promote young kids (Jurickson Profar, Rougned Odor), expect Gallo to be in Arlington as a Texas Ranger.

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