ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Joey Gallo is getting on base a lot for the Texas Rangers without going out of the park.
That is quite a shift for the 6-foot-5 slugger who homered in the only pitch he’s faced in an MLB All-Star Game and got to 100 career homers quicker than any player in American League history, at a time when he had only 93 singles.
Gallo reached base in each of his first 15 games this season, his only homer being an impressive 450-foot drive to center in the opening series at Kansas City. His other 10 hits were all singles and he had an MLB-high 15 walks. He got on three other times when hit by a pitch and was the only Texas base runner in the game where Joe Musgrove plunked him while throwing the first no-hitter in San Diego Padres history.
“When I was younger, I thought it was really cool to hit 40 home runs. And then I remember everyone’s just kind of like bashing me, saying I’m the worst 40 home run hitter,” said Gallo, 27. “And I was like, all right, I guess it’s not that cool to hit 40 home runs. It’s something that I don’t really focus on anymore. But I think it’s cool that I’m kind of doing the complete opposite of what I’m known for.”
Gallo had 40 homers in each of first two full big league seasons (2017-18), but he hit only .208 overall, with 127 of his 197 hits being for extra bases.
His .453 on-base percentage this season was seventh in the majors going into Monday night’s game at the Los Angeles Angels, even while hitting .239 (103rd out of 178 qualified batters) with a .304 slugging percentage (143rd).
The last Rangers player with a longer on-base streak to start a season was Ian Kinsler at 25 games in 2008. Going into Monday, the only longer active on-base streaks were by San Diego’s Manny Machado and Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr., both at 16 after extending…