Major League Baseball is slowly turning into a Las Vegas show. Power-hitting Texas Rangers prospect Joey Gallo became the latest player from the Vegas area to reach the big leagues on Tuesday, going 3 for 4 with a home run and four RBI in his debut.
Like Cubs rookie Kris Bryant, Gallo was a childhood teammate of Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, but they went to different high schools. Gallo shared a photo last January of him and Harper as 8- and 9-year-olds during a mound visit. Harper already had a commanding presence.
Gallo told a Texas radio station last June that he played with Harper from the time he was 8 until high school.
“We’re friendly,” Gallo said. “We were competitive growing up, and it was fun to play with him. It was me and him pretty much going after the other team. It was a lot of fun. He was always competitive. [When] he was 8-years-old, he was really the same guy he is today.”
“I’m always rooting for Vegas guys,” Harper said last month during a joint interview on ESPN with Bryant. “We’ve got so many guys in the league now. Joey Gallo coming up. Chasen Shreve, who also is a Bonanza product, Donn Roach. I mean, there are so many guys who are in the big leagues or in the minor league system that are going, and it’s a lot of fun to see.”
The Nationals and Rangers don’t play this year, but fans can hope that Harper, Bryant and Gallo, who hit 42 home runs in the minor leagues last season, are reunited at the all-star game’s home run derby.