Gregory Polanco is on a fast-track to the MLB. The 22-year-old Dominican outfielder had a breakout campaign in 2012, leading to him being ranked among the top 100 prospects according to both “Baseball America” and MLB.com. Polanco is virtually a do-it-all player, with plus-speed, plus-power potential and great defense.
In 2012 with the West Virginia Power, an A-ball affiliate for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Polanco hit .325/.388/.522 with a .910 OPS. He would play the entire season with the Power before being promoted to the Bradenton Marauders prior to the start of the 2013 season.
In 241 plate appearances with the Marauders, Polanco hit for a .312/.364/.472 slash line with six home runs and 24 stolen bases. After 57 games, the Pirates would promote their talented outfielder to the Altoona Curve, the Pirates’ Double-A team. He would spend the majority of the season there. In 268 plate appearances with the Curve, Polanco would hit .263/.354/.407 with six home runs and 13 stolen bases. He showed outstanding plate discipline as well, walking as many times (36) as he struck out with the Curve. For the final few games of the season, Polanco was promoted to the Triple-A affiliate of the Bucs, the Indianapolis Indians. In nine regular season plate appearances, he hit for a .222/.222/.222 line.
Polanco will begin the 2014 season in Triple-A, but if he is able to adjust well to the pitching at the highest minor league level, the Bucs could easily promote him by mid-June. The Pirates currently don’t have an everyday right fielder in place, and with Polanco on the verge of being promoted, they may decide to not address the need in the offseason. When Polanco does arrive in Pittsburgh, an outfield of Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Polanco is going to be extremely fast and athletic.