On Sunday, the Texas Rangers announced that both 3B Joey Gallo and RHP Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez will be promoted to Double-A Frisco from High-A Myrtle Beach, where they were -- along with Jorge Alfaro -- the most hyped prospects on the talent-rich 41-20 (.672) Pelicans squad.
To their credit, Gonzalez, but particularly Gallo, have held up their ends of the bargain. Chi-Chi exits the Carolina League with a 2.62 earned run average in 65.1 innings, with a 17.8% strikeout rate, and an impressive 5.8% walk rate. Known as a strike-thrower with an excellent cut-fastball, Gonzalez was expected to rise quickly through the system after the Rangers took him in the first round out of Oral Roberts last year.
Joey Gallo, on the other hand, has been a boom-or-bust prospect since day one. In the two years prior to this one, Gallo's strikeout rate rose from 34% in 2012 to 37% in 2013, while his walk rate decreased from 18% to 10.8%. His power has always been considered 80-raw on the 20-80 scale, but with all the Ks it would have never played up at the big league level.
However, Gallo is an ideal example of why it's not typically wise to give up on prospects when they're only 20. Strikeouts are probably always going to be an issue -- based on his profile as a (super) Three True Outcomes hitter -- but you can believe the Rangers organization will continue surrounding him with the best coaches and mentors they have to offer, as prospects like this don't come around too often. After hitting .323/.463/.735 (222 wRC+) with a minor league-leading 21 HRs in the Carolina League, Joey Gallo's upside is truly scary, and it's sensible why the Rangers waited until draft time -- where they will add a bunch of new faces to the lower levels -- to give him his next challenge at Double-A.
For what it's worth, in his updated top-25 prospects list, Keith Law ranks Gallo 25th. He is the only Ranger on the list.