Pittsburgh Pirates' Top Prospect Gregory Polanco Is Tearing Up Winter League Pitching

By Zach Morrison
Gregory Polanco
Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

If you haven’t heard about Gregory Polanco yet, you had better start to educate yourself. He isn’t Mike Trout, but he is one of the most talented players in the Minor Leagues. The best part is that he is just about ready to get called up to the MLBPittsburgh Pirates fans, prepare yourselves for Polanco; he’s going to dominate the National League.

Maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but he seriously is a rare talent. He is blessed with rare athleticism, great speed, a good eye at the plate and he projects to be a decent power hitter as well. Born in 1991, Polanco is still extremely young. He has a very large frame, standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 220 pounds. His power isn’t quite there yet, but most expect him to be able to hit at 20 home runs on a yearly basis.

Polanco has been participating in Winter Ball, playing in the Dominican League. At the moment, he is the league leader in batting average and OPS. In 44 games, he is hitting for a .331/.428/.494 triple-slash line with five home runs and seven stolen bases. He also has ten doubles and one triple, while walking just six fewer times than he has struck out. One of the biggest things that stick out about Polanco’s game is his great plate discipline and ability to get on base. In 68 games in 2013, at the Double-A level, Polanco walked the same amount of times that he struck out, 36 times.

The Pirates currently have a combination of Jose TabataJaff Decker and Travis Snider set to receive plate appearances in right field in 2014, but Polanco will be ready by the middle of June. When he gets promoted, he will automatically become the everyday right fielder for the Bucs, and if he hits as well as he is expected to, the Pirates will have the best outfield in baseball. Even if Polanco starts off slow with his bat, the defense and speed he brings will provide enough value to keep him in the lineup every day. Pirates fans have been watching a bad baseball team for a very long time, but it seems the 2013 season may have been the beginning of what will be great things to come for the city of Pittsburgh.

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