- Full name John Christopher Gall
- Born 04/02/1978 in Stanford, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Stanford
- Debut 07/26/2005
- Drafted in the 11th round (323rd overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2000.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Gall keeps hitting but still hasn't made it up to the big leagues yet. After a record-setting college career at Stanford, Gall batted .300 in his first three full pro seasons before falling just short last year. He battled a shoulder problem in the second half of the season, which led to him hitting .252 with two homers over the final two months. Because he wasn't swinging the bat well and was unlikely to get much playing time in St. Louis, he didn't get called up. Gall is the system's most polished hitter but he has been held back by his lack of power and athleticism. He did show more pop than ever in 2004, with 22 homers and a system- high 34 doubles in Triple-A. Limited on the bases and in the field, he's adequate at best in left field and has a below-average arm. He has an outside chance of winning a bench job in St. Louis, but more likely will spend a third season in Memphis.
Gall grew up 10 miles from the Stanford campus and played four years there, setting numerous school and Pacific-10 Conference offensive records. A cousin of Athletics outfielder Eric Byrnes, Gall flopped in his first Triple-A experience in 2003. He batted .179 in April, but got back on track in Double-A and raked when he returned to Memphis. His .314 combined average was best in the system. Gall has proven he'll hit no matter where he plays. He's patient, works counts and drives the ball to all fields. He's also an intelligent hitter, keeping a daily journal during the season with notes on virtually every at-bat. Gall's lack of athelticism works against him. He has toiled to improve his defense and footwork every offseason, but that part of his game remains far behind his offense. While his power has increased in the last couple of years, it may not be enough for first base. The Cardinals will give Gall time in left field in 2004 because his bat would fit better there. He'll get a shot at a big league job but is likely to return to Triple-A to start the season.
Gall has been hitting for years, and set Pacific-10 Conference records for at-bats (1,027), hits (368) and doubles (80) at Stanford, where his name is all over the record book. He's been nearly as consistent since signing with the Cardinals, and his latest accomplishment was making the Eastern League all-star team at New Haven and hitting 20 home runs, double the number he had hit in his first season and a half in the organization. The people of New Haven will remember him for something else, though: the Gall Mobile, a 1989 Cadillac El Dorado. Gall bought it in New Haven but didn't want to drive it back home to California after the season, so he and the team sold foam baseballs for $2 and once each game, someone drove the car around the park. People tried to throw the balls in the car, and those who got one in got a chance to win the car. Gall got a cut of the money and used his share to buy an engagement ring for his fiancée after the season. On the field, Gall improved his profile again by adding power, which had been the missing part of his offensive game. He'll need power because he'll probably have to play first base. He can't play third and probably couldn't play in left field either, and he still needs work at first. Gall's bat will have to carry him as far as he goes, and he'll get a chance to win a job in Triple-A in spring training.
Gall left his name all over the Stanford record books after a four-year career there. He's the Cardinal's career leader in at-bats (1,027), hits (368), doubles (80) and RBIs (263), and also set Pacific-10 Conference standards in the first three categories. He was an all-conference selection three times. So it's no surprise Gall has continued hitting with the Cardinals. He's an intelligent player with a great approach and a love for the game. He puts the ball in play and is rarely caught off-balance by pitchers. Gall consistently plays above his tools, which is a blessing and a curse. He's a defensive liability at third base, so he spent most of last season at first. He's fine there defensively, but he hasn't shown enough power for the position and isn't expected to add much more. He's also a below-average runner. Guys who can hit like Gall always are able to find work, but unless he adds power he's not likely to be more than a role player in the major leagues.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the St. Louis Cardinals in 2005