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Joey Gallo eager to learn at the right pace

FRISCO, Texas -- Joey Gallo isn’t itching to work his way southwest toward Arlington any time soon.

For a 20-year-old prospect on the fast track toward the big leagues -- he’s already at Double-A Frisco before the halfway point of his second year in professional baseball -- he’s quick to point out he doesn’t have it all figured out yet.

“Obviously, I shouldn’t be in Arlington right now,” Gallo said to a handful of media in Frisco to see his Double-A debut. “I have a lot to work on and that’s why I’m here still and we’ll see how I handle Double-A. I have a lot of adjustments to make up here and hopefully I can make them quick.”

If the Rangers injuries have Gallo readjusting his timetable for arriving in the big leagues, he’s not letting on.

“Maybe some time next year,” Gallo said.

Gallo will start at third base and bat fifth in the lineup tonight, his first action in Frisco. He hit .323 for Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League and had 21 homers, tied for the most in all of professional baseball. He led the league in RBIs (50), runs scored (53), on-base percentage (.463), slugging (.735) and walks (51).

Gallo says he weighs 235 pounds -- he’s listed at 205 and says that had to be senior year of high school or earlier -- and is 6-foot-5 or so. He knows that he’s a big man at third base, but seems to want to prove he can play the position.

“There’s a lot of speculation when I got drafted if I could stay there,” Gallo said. “I truly believe I can be a third baseman in the big leagues. I really do. It’s tough. I like it. It’s a hard job.”

Gallo has become a more disciplined hitter, dropping his strikeout rate and increasing his walks without losing any power. He’s also improved on his defense, crediting offseason workouts with Jason Giambi and Troy Tulowitzki for helping him with all parts of his game.

Now he’s ready to see what he can do at Double-A.