The Rangers' third baseman of the future is now their first baseman of the present, and Joey Gallo loves the idea.

"That's great," Gallo said. "I like first base a lot. I think I can help the team defensively and our infield a lot. First base is a fun position for me."

Gallo's days of bouncing around the field appear to be over after hitting 41 home runs and driving in 80 runs in his first full season. The Rangers have deemed his offense too important to be distracted by multiple defensive assignments.

"Right now [offensive production importance], that's above the line," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "But Joey is athletic enough to be as good of defensive first baseman as there is in baseball."

Last year, Gallo started 66 games at third base out of necessity because of Adrian Beltre's injuries. He also made 52 starts at first base and 17 in left field.

The outfield is, well, out. Gallo is a terrific athlete, but the Rangers don't need his 6-foot-5, 250-pound body crashing into walls or racing to the deepest recesses of left-center field at Globe Life Park.