It’s actually odd, because his defense (he is a Gold Glove award winner) might be his best attribute as a player.
But other than his considerable home run power, he is often associated with contact issues.
Gallo is the owner of a unwanted record in MLB: most career strikeouts per hit.
“Most career strikeouts per hit in MLB history*: 2.13 – Joey Gallo (885 Ks, 415 hits), 1.89 – Mike Zunino, 1.77 – Chris Carter, 1.75 – Miguel Sano, 1.66 – Jeff Mathis, 1.65 – Rob Deer, 1.64 – Russell Branyan, 1.61 – Jack Cust, 1.60 – Chris Davis, 1.50 – Mark Reynolds (* – 2,000+ PAs),” Codify Baseball tweeted.
Most career strikeouts per hit in MLB history*:
2.13 – Joey Gallo (885 Ks, 415 hits)
1.89 – Mike Zunino
1.77 – Chris Carter
1.75 – Miguel Sano
1.66 – Jeff Mathis
1.65 – Rob Deer
1.64 – Russell Branyan
1.61 – Jack Cust
1.60 – Chris Davis
1.50 – Mark Reynolds
(* – 2,000+ PAs)
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) March 29, 2022
To clarify, the minimum threshold to qualify for this exercise, as Codify explained, is 2,000 career plate appearances.
Gallo Is Much More Than A Bunch Of Strikeouts
The thing that makes Gallo productive, however, is not hits per se: it’s home runs and walks.
That’s why he is portrayed so poorly by this particular metric, but he is actually a well above-average hitter.
For his career, Gallo has slashed .206/.333/.489 with a 114 wRC+, which means weighted Runs Created Plus and measures whether a player is above or below-average compared to his peers, with 100 being considered “average”.
His wRC+ tells us that he has been 14 percent above-average in his MLB tenure despite the strikeouts (36.9 percent strikeout rate, which is alarmingly high).
But the most important things to evaluate in Gallo’s slash line are the OBP and the slugging percentage, not the average: those are the ones that reflect his true worth as a hitter.
As long as he keeps walking and socking dingers at a good pace, Gallo will likely be an above-average hitter even with all the punchouts.