Pittsburgh Pirates: Examining Best Prospects Under Age 18

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Outfielder Shalin Polanco

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Shalin Polanco during the 2021 international signing deadline. Polanco was one of the more notable names available, with FanGraphs ranking him as the 19th best international prospect. The Pirates gave him a big bonus of $2.5 million out of the Dominican Republic.

Although Polanco didn’t get off to the greatest of starts to his pro career with just a .622 OPS, .307 wOBA, and 77 wRC+, it was a small sample size of 147 plate appearances. Plus, he’s still considered one of the most notable Pirate outfield prospects. FanGraphs grades him out as a well-rounded outfielder whose only below-average projected tool is his speed. Other than that, he has 50-grades for his hit, game power, raw power, and fielding tools.

Much of Polanco is still projection. He has a 5’11”, 168-pound frame that he’ll look to grow further as he ages. He’s a very raw talent that needs much further refinement. However, he’s already considered one of the Pirates’ top 50 prospects. By the time he’s 20-21 years old, we might be looking at a top 20-30 organizational prospect.

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