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New York Yankees: Giovanny Gallegos on track to make major league impact

After a phenomenal 2016 season, New York Yankees’ prospect, Giovanny Gallegos, is seriously opening some eyes. 

The youth movement for the New York Yankees is in full swing and some have already made household names for themselves.

Gary Sanchez was called up (for good) on August 3 and hit 20 home runs in 52 games including a four-game span in which he smashed a home run in each of them — a feat accomplished by just two other catchers in Yankees’ history since 1990.

Before the Kraken, it was Greg Bird in 2015.

Earning his promotion via a Mark Teixeira broken leg, Bird hit the most home runs (11) in Yankees history by a rookie that played in less than 50 games.

Tyler Austin, another Baby Bomber, is sixth on that same very list.

Among them, there are other highly touted Yankees’ farmhands who haven’t had that same impact quite yet. You know: Luis Cessa, Chad GreenAaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, James Kaprielian and Jorge Mateo.

Then, beyond all the kids getting all the attention, there are under-the-radar prospects that may not be the sexiest of names in the Yankees’ system, but have the potential to make a major league impression as promptly as 2017.

25-year old Giovanny Gallegos is one of those prospects.

The native of Mexico opened the 2016 season in Double-A Trenton coming off a year in which he commanded High-A Tampa (1.86 in 30 games) in his first go around as a full-time reliever.

Even with the improved opposition, he did not miss a single beat.

In 17 appearances, Gallegos surrendered just four runs in 33 innings of work (1.09 ERA) while striking out 14.5 batters per nine innings and surrendered just 20 hits among the 124 batters faced (.171 BAA).

The righty then earned a promotion to the Electric City where he picked up right where he left off as he did following his call-up to Trenton.

Batters at the Triple-A level hit a mere .178 off Gallegos while he struck out 53 batters in 33 innings and recorded two saves — including the final out of the Governors’ Cup.

Interestingly enough, Gallegos maintained a 0.45 ERA vs left-handed batters and finished his season incredibly strong with a 0.59 WHIP after the All-Star break.

By the way, he’s not even a top-30 prospect in the organization but managed to thrust himself onto the 40-man roster and has given himself a genuine opportunity to get a well-deserved ride on the Scranton Shuttle to the Bronx in 2017.

Gallegos did have Tommy John surgery early in his professional career but has seemingly put that behind him not only with results but an increase from 91 m.p.h. to as high as 95 m.p.h. on his fastball velocity.

He also contains three off-speed pitches in his arsenal which incorporates a slider that sits in the high-70’s, a curveball and changeup.

One of the major facets of his game that makes him engaging is the reality that he’s a reliever that doesn’t rely on two pitches and finds ways to get you out.

But we’re not overhyping one season a kid has had to make up a point that he is a long-shot in contrast to having a legit shot to sport navy blue pinstripes in April.

Gallegos, judging by his minor league career that can be best described as monstrous (at least the last two seasons), can very well claw his way to a major league roster spot this March over the likes of Jonothan Holder, Ben Heller or even Richard Bleier.

Consider also that manager Joe Girardi’s behavior continuously summons for nearly a dozen round-trip journeys on the Scranton Shuttle, and there might not be a reliever in the system that had the type of year that Giovanny Gallegos had in 2016.

The 6-foot-2 righty has the pitch mix to succeed, the success to build off and certainly a style to his game that suits Yankee Stadium astonishingly well (career 0.92 ground out to air out ratio).

So, while you focus on the rotation battle, the fight for first base and watch to see if Judge figures things out, don’t forget about this kid — who could help sustain the bridge to the terminal duo of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman.