Scouting Yanks Prospect #28:Giovanny Gallegos

Gallegos has virtually no real weaknesses

The New York Yankees signed right-handed pitcher Giovanny Gallegos out of Mexico back in November of 2010. A knee injury and subsequent surgery cost him nearly two years, but he finally made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Yankees in 2012 and he quickly proved he was worth the wait.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Giovanny Gallegos
Position: Pitcher
DOB: August 14, 1991
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 185
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

"I worked really hard this offseason," Gallegos told late in the season through the help of a translator. "I came out of my injury and that helped me out while I was in rehab to work harder and make sure I was ready for the season.

"I gained a lot of weight and worked on my strength a lot through rehab and I feel like I got stronger, and continue to work hard."

The Yankees felt so good about his advanced game that they had him bypass the Dominican Summer League entirely and allow him to make his professional debut with the Gulf League Yankees. All he did was post a 1.67 ERA and an eleven to one strikeout to walk ratio.

"I was very happy that I was invited to Spring Training even though I didn't get to pitch because of my rehab," he said. "I wasn't one hundred percent ready to throw again but I was so happy to get that experience and getting to meet all the player and affiliates.

"I feel I have the same speed on my fastball as before the injury, which was my goal. I've been working on my breaking balls a lot and I feel like I'm getting better and better with my pitches and gaining confidence."

He didn't allow an earned run in his first eight games and surrendered runs in just one of his twelve appearances overall, and that certainly helped his confidence.

"I feel like I've been doing great so far," he said with a smile. "My pitches are working and I feel no issues from my injury but I still think there is room for improvement and I want to get better."

Even more than the numbers, however, was just how impressive everything came out of his hand. Employing an effortless delivery, his fastball still sat in the above average to plus range and capped it off with a knockout curveball, conjuring up images of a young Ivan Nova when he was in the Gulf Coast League many years ago.

"He throws harder than Nova at the same time, same stage," said Mark Newman, Yankees' senior vice president in charge of scouting and player development. "He's got power, he can really spin the ball. He just really needs time to pitch and develop, but he's got huge upside.

"I didn't see him [before signing] but Donny Rowland and Lee Sigman, this is their deal. They've been telling me about him and I've had the chance to see him pitch and it is impressive."

It is the combination of high level pitch-ability and potential to get even better down the road that has team officials very excited about his future. In fact, as good as Gallegos was in 2012, the highest level talent evaluators still won't label his year as a breakout season.

"I think that's going to happen next year," Newman said. "He's just getting on the field this year. I think next year we've got a decent chance to see some significant improvement there.

"He's got really good stuff and now I think as of next year he'll be completely recovered from [knee] surgery, but we like his upside. He's real smooth, easy, the ball comes out of his hand with some power, he can spin the ball, he's very bright, composed, [etc]."











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Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.

Fastball. Gallegos has the golden trifecta when it comes to a plus fastball; power, movement, and command. He sits in the 92-94 mph range with his fastball but it comes out of his hand so nice and easy that it gets a lot of deception too because it doesn't appear he's throwing nearly that hard. He also gets such good natural movement with his four-seam fastball that it suggests he could add a nice sinking two-seamer down the road, and he has polished fastball command too for such a young pitcher. Keep in mind too that as young as he is experience-wise and having the type of frame that should get bigger, there's also a chance he could add a tick or two on the radar gun in the coming years.

Other Pitches. What makes Gallegos even more effective is his plus curveball. Sitting in the 81-83 mph range, his breaking ball is a true knee bender and serves as his primary strikeout weapon. Just like with his fastball, he can command it at will. He also throws a quality changeup but it's not a pitch he throws very often yet. The good news with that though is there's plenty of room for it to get better, giving it long-term plus potential given the state of his other two pitches.

Pitching. Efficiency is the name of Gallegos' game. He is a supreme strike-thrower of two plus big league pitches and he's constantly pitching ahead in the count, and that is a recipe for success for any pitcher at any level. What aids in his efficiency [and his deception] is the uncanny smoothness in his delivery -- there's simply no wasted motion. And with that repeatable delivery comes consistent release points and command of his pitches. He still has to work on his pickoff move but all early signs point to that not being a long-term issue.

Projection. Even with just one year of experience under his belt Gallegos already brings the type of game that could have an 'ace' type ceiling long-term; plus fastball, plus curveball, plus command, high level of pitch-ability, and advanced mechanics. He'll need to upgrade the changeup to the plus level to achieve that kind of ceiling though and that's a wait and see aspect of his game right now. As it stands currently, however, he has one of the safest projections as a solid middle of the rotation big league starting pitcher until such time the changeup gets better.

ETA. 2016. When it comes to stuff and pitch-ability, Gallegos is just too good to not advance him to low-A Charleston in 2013. If and when that changeup comes consistently he could really begin to move pretty quickly.

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