I would like to thank the Milwaukee Brewers for waiting until the day after I post to trade away a player. Jean Segura was mentioned in my infield preview and last week I spoke highly of Khris Davis. However the right field position is one I know Milwaukee will keep. What about the Pittsburgh Pirates?
Gregory Polanco is ready for a breakout season. Polanco possess athleticism, strength and speed. In his first two seasons, Polanco has hit for a .249 batting average and a .685 OPS. He led the team last year with six triples along with 27 stolen bases. Gregory Polanco is set for a monster year. I would like to see the outfield of the Pirates hit 2-3-4 in the batting lineup and produce huge offensive numbers. The outfield play is huge to the success of this team this year. I usually don’t feel this way but they have lost a lot of impact players in the infield and when they lost Russell Martin.
When we compare the right field position with the rest of the division, I believe Pittsburgh has the best. Chicago is led by Jorge Soler, who needs more time to really know what he can do as an everyday player. Chicago has Ben Zobrist and Chris Coghlan as backups but usually Coghlan will see the most time. Ryan Braun is rumored to move back to left field but I think Craig Counsell will keep him in right. Milwaukee has traded a majority last year’s team but look for Jonathan Lucroy and Braun to keep this team together. Braun will once again put up huge offensive numbers but his outfield play is solid too. The depth behind Braun is weak, but we should see some younger guys play a significant role in the outfield. Cincinnati still has Jay Bruce for now. The Reds are in rebuilding mode but Bruce is a very consistent outfielder that should have a decent season. With Jason Heyward gone, the Cardinals will have some depth to fill. I believe Steven Piscotty will play every day in right field for the Cards. Brandon Moss will split with Matt Adams at first base and will see time in right or left field too.
Thinking about the Pirates depth makes me very happy. For every position, they have someone who I like or can trust to play a backup role. Right field will see a lot of Sean Rodriguez, John Jaso or Jake Goebbert. Usually when Marte or McCutchen are out Polanco never moves to left or center. I am perfectly fine with this. Right field is exactly where Gregory Polanco belongs.
It would be stupid of me not to mention defense. Like my MVP Baseball 2004 video game broadcaster says “He’s got a cannon for an arm”. Polanco had 13 outfield assists which lead all of the majors for that position! However he had 8 errors committed which was the most in the majors. He is a high risk high reward type of player. He has games where he is on fire and other games where he should have just stayed at home.
I saw projections for this upcoming season for Polanco. They weren’t that good. He was projected for 3 more home runs and close to the same amount of RBI’s. Projections are nothing but opinions. Let’s hope Polocano has the season everyone is expecting him to have and help this team have success!