Hickory third baseman Joey Gallo hit three home runs on Friday night to give him 38 on the season and pass George Springer for the minor league lead. Gallo’s power binge also helped Hickory break the low Class A South Atlantic League record for team home runs in the season.
Just three days ago, Gallo ranked four behind Springer’s minor league-leading 37 home runs. But with home runs on Tuesday and Thursday, he climbed to 35. On Friday, Gallo caught and passed Springer with three swings of the bat. He homered to center field in the first inning, then after grounding out in the third, he homered to right field in the fifth and to center again in the seventh.
The 19-year-old Gallo was two batters away from a chance at a fourth homer in the eighth, but did not get a chance. Because Hickory was leading, the Crawdads did not bat in the ninth.
Gallo’s three home runs and Nomar Mazarra’s 13th of the season give the Crawdads 174 on the year, breaking the SAL record set by the 1998 Macon Braves. Second baseman Marcus Giles hit 37 home runs to lead that Macon club.
Gallo now has 36 SAL home runs this year (he hit two during a rehab stint in the Arizona League), which stands four behind the league record set by Columbus’ Russell Branyan in 1996.
Gallo missed close to a month with a groin injury, but he’s gone on a power binge in August to make up for lost time. His last five hits are home runs, and among his 29 hits for the month, 12 of them are homers and 22 of them have gone for extra bases. He’s slugging .806 during the month. With the feast also comes plenty of famine. Gallo also has 36 strikeouts in 93 at-bats.
While we don’t have video of Gallo’s home runs on Friday, here’s a look at his home run from Thursday night.