What 3B quietly got better in the second half?
The 6th part in our series focuses on third basemen. There’s only one who made notable changes in their profile, and the guy is known throughout baseball for his incredible power. If you’re in an OBP or OPS league, you should already love him. If you’re in an average league, in particular a head-to-head league, I’ll tell you why his average might not be as toxic as you think.
Joey Gallo, 3B/1B/LF, TEX
Joey Gallo is known as an all power, no average hitter. He finished the year with a .209/.333/.537 slash line with a total of 41 home runs in only 532 plate appearances. So obviously a guy who is already strongly on the mixed league radar, and is who we thought he is. Dennis Green anyone?
However, he might be better in average than you think next year. After the all star break he hit .229/.357/.572, and could easily be a .235-.240 hitter in the future. The primary reason for the boost in average was due to a change in batted ball distribution. He hit more line drives, more ground balls, fewer fly balls, and fewer pop ups. All of those things tend to lead to a higher batting average, and pair that with hitting the ball harder and striking out less, it suggests he might be better in average than you think. If he’s a .230 hitter with 45 home runs and close to 10 steals, and upside for more (remember that plate appearance total could easily move up to the 600s), that’s a significant piece. Target him aggressively.