Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Shalin Polanco Named a Breakout Candidate

(FCL) Pirates' on deck Shalin Polanco. The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first
(FCL) Pirates' on deck Shalin Polanco. The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first / THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE / USA TODAY

Highly touted young outfield prospect Shalin Polanco has been identified as a potential breakout prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2023

One prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system that is often times overlooked is outfielder Shalin Polanco. Well, now, Polanco is started to generate some well deserved buzz as spring training approaches.

Last summer, Polanco joined MLB Pipeline's top 30 Pirate prospects. He also joined FanGraphs Pirate prospects board. FanGraphs gives Polanco's raw power a future value (FV) of 40, to go with a FV of 40 for both speed and fielding. At just 18-years-old, these numbers, along with Polanco's 20 grade hit tool, should only continue to imrpove.

Polanco signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in Janaury 2021. One of the top international free agents in his class, Polanco netted a signing bonus of $2.35 million when he signed with the Bucs. Quickly, he became a prospect primed to make noise in the Pirate farm system.

Now, Polanco is garnering hype as a prospect who is ready to break out. MLB Pipeline has named a breakout prospect for each minor league system across baseball, with Polanco being named as the Pirate breakout candidate.

Polanco is a very toolsy prospect. He has all the tools needed to be an above average hitter, who plays strong outfielder defense while hiting for plus power. With Polanco likely on his way to getting a large sum of at-bats with Low-A Bradenton in 2023, it's easy to see why he could break out.

Last season, Polanco played at the team's complex site in Florida. Polanco hit for a .250/.324/.317 slash line in the Florida Complex League. This included a 97 wRC+, 8.1% walk rate, and a 27.0% strikeout rate.

Looking ahead to 2023, the Pirates have to be excited about Polanco's outlook. He may take his lumps in his first taste of Low-A pitching, but being in position to reach the Low-A level at age 18 is impressive in itself.

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Few Pirate prospects are in a better position to put together a breakout campaign in 2023 than Polanco. It's not a surprise to see MLB Pipeline identify him as such. Polanco will be a prospect for fans to watch this season.