Two of the best hitters in the Pittsburgh Pirates system are sluggers Josh Bell and Gregory Polanco. Bell played just 15 games last season because of a knee injury while Polanco had a breakout year with a .910 OPS.
An interview over at MiLB.com answers quite a few questions. Bell is quoted as saying
I’m at the IMG Academy. Basically, it takes me through speed training, some baseball training and strength training — all in one — every day. It’s my first week and it’s been tough. I thought I’d been working hard, but these guys kick my butt. I still have 1 1/2 more months with them to get in tip-top shape before Spring Training.
This is the most intense training I have done since surgery, so it’s good and heartwarming, I guess, to see my knee holding up with everything. I definitely need to strengthen my left lower half again — I can tell that my left side is weaker than my right side. The trainers here have been working with me. Getting healthy and then some is the most important thing. The most I did before this was take at-bats from pitchers. This is the first time I’ve taken balls in the outfield, too.
We thought this was an interesting quote from Polanco:
I want to get stronger and up to 225 pounds. I’m getting there. I’m up to 220 pounds. By adding the right weight, I’ll add bat speed, arm strength and velocity on the field.
Bell was the all everything Texas baseball star that the Pirates grabbed with their second round pick in 2011. Polanco is playing his fourth season with the Pirates and is 21 years old.
The interview is a good one, with some interesting quotes from both players.