There is a movement to banning the shift in baseball. For Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo, this could be a dream come true.
Over the past few years, Major League Baseball has attempted to find ways to speed up the game and make it more appealing to younger fans. One idea that had been generated involved banning the shift, which would theoretically allow for more action on the diamond. Left handed pull hitters would get more hits, instead of hitting bullets towards an infielder standing in shallow right. This is a concept that is gaining momentum, making it possible that Rob Manfred can accomplish one of his dreams since taking office.
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Speaking of left handed batters hitting .182… Well, Gallo was not quite that hitter last year, as he had a .206/.312/.498 batting line. On the plus side, Gallo hit 40 homers and drew 74 walks. He also continued his status as the king of the Three True Outcomes, striking out 207 times in 577 plate appearances in 2018.
It is possible that a ban on the shift would end an interesting trend over Gallo’s career. He has hit more homers than singles in each year since 2016, although that first year may be cheating as his only hit was a homer. However, over his career, Gallo has 88 homers, and just 90 singles.
Gallo may become slightly more than the hitter he is now. By limiting where fielders can play, a few of those hot shots may get their way through the infield, allowing his batting average to approach his body weight (he is not exactly a jollux, listed at 235 pounds per BaseballReference). Gallo is also not the only left handed hitter who would celebrate such a move, as left handed hitters everywhere may break out in simultaneous celebration. Maybe that will be enough to convince David Ortiz to come out of retirement.
Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo has a specific wish for Christmas. The way momentum is going, his wish may come true.