|Born: September 14, 1991
Height: 6′ 4″
Signed: Int. FA, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2009
How Acquired: Int. FA
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Polanco started off with the Pirates as a tall, lean, athletic outfielder with excellent speed. The Pirates thought he had power potential, but initially he didn’t show a great deal of hitting ability. He has the speed and athleticism to play center and also has a very good arm. He’s also shown good base stealing ability. By 2012 he’d filled out some–without losing the speed–and had a breakout year at the plate.
Had respectable first season as the regular right fielder in the DSL, including lots of walks but also lots of strikeouts. He hit for only gap power.
Struggled in GCL, although he did start to show some power, with three HRs. He finished tied for fourth in the GCL in steals, while getting caught only twice. His walk and strikeout numbers, though, were very bad.
Back in the GCL, Polanco showed improvement, especially in his strike zone judgment. He split time in center with Willy Garcia and also played right, and had eight outfield assists total. He was perfect as a base stealer. The Pirates moved him up to State College at the end of the season and he got into three games there.
Polanco had a breakout season and established himself as one of the better hitting prospects in the minors. Unlike Alen Hanson, who got off to a huge start and then cooled off, Polanco started fairly well and kept improving. His OPS was .822 before the South Atlantic League All-Star game and 1.030 after. His overall numbers might have been even more impressive if he hadn’t missed over half of August with an ankle injury. He destroyed LHPs, with an OPS of 1.087 against them, compared to .850 against RHPs. His plate discipline was very good. His base stealing efficiency wasn’t quite as good as previously. Baseball America rated him the 3rd best prospect in the South Atlantic League.
Polanco will open 2013 at Bradenton at age 21. With Starling Marte probably in the majors for good, Pirate fans can debate whether Polanco or Hanson is the best hitting prospect remaining in the system. Given Polanco’s plate discipline and five-tool ability, he may win the debate in the end. It’ll be interesting to see whether he can win a promotion to Altoona during the season.
|2013: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $75,000
MiLB Debut: 2009
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2013
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|April 11, 2009: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.|