ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Frisco RoughRiders third baseman Joey Gallo has a Minor League Baseball-best 37 home runs and sits atop the leaderboard for the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, presented by Musco Sports Lighting. A familiar face to the award, Gallo was the 2013 overall winner of the award presented annually at the Baseball Winter Meetings. The top regular season home run hitter in the domestic-based leagues wins the Joe Bauman Trophy and a check representing $200 for each home run he hits.
The 20-year-old Gallo has paced himself this season by hitting nine home runs in April, second only to Toledo left fielder J.D. Martinez, who hit 10 before being called up to Detroit on April 20. Gallo led all hitters by smacking 12 home runs for Myrtle Beach and eight for Frisco in May and June, respectively. He added another eight homers in July to increase his total to the league-leading number. Trailing Gallo is Iowa third baseman Kris Bryant with 33 and Mobile first baseman Peter O'Brien with 31.
Gallo's 2014 season has been filled with an array of accolades, including being named Carolina League Player of the Week three times and a Mid-Season All-Star. The infielder was selected to represent the U.S. Team in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on July 13, where he also earned MVP honors. Most recently, he was chosen as Texas League Player of the Week on July 28. The Las Vegas, Nevada, native was selected by the Texas Rangers in the first round (39th overall) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Bishop Gorman High School.
Classification leaders, provided they are not the overall winner, receive a $500 cash award. Fresno's Adam Duvall and Charlotte's Andy Wilkins are tied for the lead in Triple-A with 26 home runs each. Joc Pederson (Albuquerque) is three back with 23 and Francisco Pena (Omaha) is four back with 22. Omaha's Matt Fields, Toledo's Mike Hessman, Iowa's Javier Baez and New Orleans' Kyle Jensen follow immediately behind with 21.
Erie's Steven Moya has a four homer lead in Double-A over Peter O'Brien, hitting 27 through the month of July. Kris Bryant and Michael A. Taylor (Harrisburg) each have 22, with Christian Walker (Bowie) hitting 20.
Stockton's Matt Olsen tops the Class A leaderboard with 30. Teammate Renato Nunez is four behind Olsen with 26. Travis Demeritte (Hickory) has 23, followed by High Desert teammates Jabari Henry and Jordy Lara tied with 22.
Rowan Wick, now a member of the Peoria Chiefs, leads all Class A Short Season and Rookie league players with 14 dingers from his stint with the State College Spikes. Wick was promoted to the Chiefs on July 22. Aristides Aquino (Billings) and Justin Chigbugo (Ogden) trail Wick by two. Hunter Lockwood (Hudson Valley) and Trevor Mitsui (Missoula) each have 11, with Jiandido Tromp (Williamsport) trailing them by two.
Minor League Baseball will announce the 2014 Joe Bauman Home Run Award winner on Sept. 2. The recipient will receive his trophy and monetary award on Monday, Dec. 8, at the Baseball Winter Meetings Awards Luncheon in San Diego, California.