Pittsburgh Pirates: Gregory Polanco Shows Signs of Life in Home Opener

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In Thursday afternoon’s home opener the struggling Gregory Polanco showed signs of life for the Pittsburgh Pirates by reaching base three times

Thursday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates welcomed fans back to PNC Park for the first time since September 2019. In the team’s 2021 home opener, the Pirates fell to the Chicago Cubs by a score of 4-2.

While the Pittsburgh Pirates lost on Thursday afternoon it was not all negative. Tyler Anderson turned in a strong start, the bullpen pitched well, Colin Moran continued to build off his breakout 2020 season, and Gregory Polanco showed signs of life.

The Pirate offense mustered just 2 runs while wasting opportunities in Thursday afternoon’s loss, but Polanco was not a reason why. Following a slow start to the season Polanco’s bat started to come to life in Thursday’s loss.

Polanco stepped to the plate four times on Thursday afternoon. In these four trips to the plate the Pirate right fielder picked up a pair of hits. His tow hits included an opposite filed double. He also drew a walk and scored a run.

The 29-year-old Dominican also showed signs of life when making outs. The lone out Polanco made was a fly ball to deep center field that was caught deep on the warning track. Polanco just missed hitting a 3-run home run into the bullpens by a few feet. This fly out was hit at a whopping 104.7 MPH.

Polanco’s double was also a hard hit ball. This ball left his bat at 101.5 MPH. This continued Polanco’s trend, dating back to last season, of hitting the ball hard and with authority. Thursday afternoon he finally turned those hard hit rates into consist contact and base hits.

Watching Polanco continue to hit the ball hard is both encouraging and frustrating for Pirate fans. It is encouraging because it shows that Polanco still has the talent needed to be a top tier MLB hitter. However, it is asl frustrating as it showcases his untaped potential.

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Moving forward the Pirates need Polanco to continue to produce at the plate. Not only will it results positively in the team’s win/loss record, but it could also make Polanco a desirable trade target in July. This could assist the Pirates as they continue their rebuild.