Is this the year that Gregory Polanco finally puts it all together?
Entering the 2014 season outfielder Gregory Polanco was one of the top-10 prospects in all of baseball. Ever since making his Major League debut in June of that season things have been up and down for Polanco.
However, Polanco may finally be ready to put it all together this season and to give the Pirates a big 2018 season.
Gregory Polanco’s biggest issue since making his Major League debut has been health. Between July 2015 and July 2016, Polanco appeared to finally be figuring it out. However, he has battled injuries ever since.
Since August 2016 Polanco has battled knee, shoulder, and hamstring issues. He has been on the disabled list three times during this stretch and owns just a .389 slugging percentage, .288 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 76.
This spring Gregory Polanco has looked different. On top of being 100 percent healthy for the first time in nearly two full calendar years, he looks like the hitter he was from July 2015 – July 2016 when he slugged .461 to go along with a .346 wOBA, 118 wRC+, and a 34.2 percent hard contact rate.
While putting any stock into Spring Training stats is usually pointless, Polanco has shown a lot of good signs this spring. He is driving the ball, hitting to all fields, and he has been patient at the plate (.419 on-base percentage). Polanco also has three home runs and three doubles thus far this spring. It is not a coincidence that Polanco has produced this way now that he is healthy.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to surprise people in 2018, they need Gregory Polanco to produce the way he did from July 2015 – through July 2016 for the entirety of the season. Additionally, they need Polanco to turn back into this player since he is under contract through the 2023 season.
Luckily for the Pirates, Gregory Polanco looks primed for a great 2018 season. As long as he stays healthy, look for big things out of Polanco this season.