Gregory Polanco Should Not Cause Panic


Sep 21, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco (25) splinters his bat against the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates’ outfielder Gregory Polanco came into the 2014 season ranked as Baseball America’s No. 10 prospect. The excitement surrounding him had fans going crazy and when he was eventually called up, he — at first — seemed like the next big thing. However, Polanco cooled off considerably and finished the season with a .235 batting average and just seven home runs.

However, Polanco is still considered one of the best players in the organization and concerns on whether he will live up to the hype should be subdued until he gets a full season under his belt. Polanco is the best young player in the organization because of his overall abilities. He should be able to help the team in various ways with his bat, speed and glove. He did not play the greatest defense last season, but he did show off his canon of an arm a few times. His bat is more geared towards to being an all-fields hitter rather than a big-bopper power guy. He still could be a 25-30 home run player and that would give the Pirates more than enough. He also gives the Pirates a baserunner who could reasonably snag 40-45 bases. He did make some mistakes on the base paths, but the team as a whole is not best at base running.

Assuming Polanco becomes a better base-to-base runner, he will help the team considerably with the bats surrounding him. Polanco should be able to easily go first-to-third on singles and force errant throws from the outfield that could allow the team to steal some runs.

The sparkle surrounding Polanco has fizzled out some, but if he improves and turns out to be the player baseball experts and fans expects him to be, the Pirates outfield will not only be the best in the National League, it could be the best in baseball.