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Thread: Gregory Polanco

  1. #1
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    Gregory Polanco

    Curious to see everyone's thoughts on Polanco's eventual call-up. If there was ever a team that needed a shot in the arm, it's the current Pirates. I know Bucs' management wants to avoid him becoming "Super 2", and want to keep him in AAA as long as they need to, but he is absolutely raking right now. I don't think anyone is buying the "he needs more seasoning in the minors" argument in this case. When McCutchen and Marte were in the minors, we were not expected to contend. Polanco is really the only player that I think could breathe life into the team right now.
    Do you think they would ever consider calling him up early? I don't think it's a easy decision either way...I just fear that they may be out of contention by the time he gets the call.

  2. #2
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    I think the overall tendency is to expect too much out of Polanco. When he comes up it will likely come with expected growing pains. If the Pirates are counting on him to jump start them then they are basically doomed. Competitive teams should not be in a position where they have to rely on rookies.

    By the way I still believe there are legitimate reasons to keep him in the minors. Recall this offseason there were people who were questioning whether Polanco would even be ready this year. Eighty PA does not change anything. One thing in particular that gets me is that his walk rate really isn't too strong. One would think with the way he is hitting teams would pitch to him cautiously increasing his walk rates. The fact it remains low is a bit of a question mark for me.

    Another possible concern is that he still may be getting reacquainted with his new defensive position. We all need to temper our expectations of Polanco and accept that he may still have things to work on. I'm not denying that he is probably the best option for RF right now but the point of the system should be to work on fully developing its players.
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  3. #3
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    Like I said in the other thread, and Burgh just hit on this, everyone seems to be in the mindset that he will simply continue this insane pace, despite the fact that it will be against superior pitching. Even if you want to play the hypothetical scenario that he would continue to hit, how many games could we really expect to turn out differently because of one player?

    Right now, I'm okay with him being in AAA because in reality, unless everyone else gets their act together, his impact would be rather minimal, or at least in my eyes. Once guys hit their stride and begin to perform to their career averages, things will right themselves

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    Just to build on the point here is what the projection systems say about him:

    ZiPS: .261/.309/.392/.701
    Steamer: .248/.300/.364/.664
    Steamer (U): .258/.306/.382/.688
    Oliver: .266/.333/.418/.750

    I don't see an impact offensive player there. Now most of the systems have him being a good defender and base runner but if its offense you are looking for the evidence suggests it might not come from him.
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    I'm sure they have some computer simulation system and a group of guys that know a lot more than I ever will, but where do they get those numbers from? Quite a few of those numbers are worse than Marte's when he was first called up and from everything I've heard/read, Polanco seems to have better plate discipline (albeit few walks right now), very good speed and defense, and pretty legit power.

    These were Marte's stats in his first 47 games played in 2012:

    .257/.300/.437/.737

    For comparison's sake, although a small sample size, here are their seasons at AAA:

    Marte: .286/.347/.500/.847 Age 23
    Polanco: .420/.460/.679/1.139 Age 22

    What I'm getting at, is that despite Polanco's superior stats in AAA, his projections are worse than Marte's first taste in the majors. I think we all can expect Polanco to cool a bit but even still, I think those projections are a bit low

    I'm as big a Marte fan as they come and while he had a very good season in AAA, what Polanco is doing right now is insane. Granted, it would be nice to see what Marte's predictions were but to predict Polanco's stats to drop that much

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    The projections are based off of his minor league track record. Just for reference on where it might come look at his numbers last year in AA: .263/.354/.407/.762.

    The projections with the exception of Steamer (U) do not consider what he has done in the minors this season. His ridiculous performance so far has caused Steamer to raise his OPS projection 24 points which considering we are talking about less than 100 PA is huge. We can probably assume the other systems would have a similar 20-30 point jump if ran including this year's data.
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    Also wanted to add Steamer and ZiPS do tend to be conservative with prospects but Oliver tends to be fairly aggressive projecting them so adding 30 points to that projection to account for this year's performance gives us an aggressive projection of a .780 OPS and honestly that is about as much as we could possible expect.
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    It is also worth pointing out that Snider has been fairly competent thus far. A .242/.319/.387 line isn't great but its good enough for a 104 wRC+ meaning he has been a slightly better than league average hitter this season. Ideally you want more from a RF but its not as if Polanco would be replacing the black hole which has been our shortstop position.

    One final thing to add the general consensus seems to be the Pirates "rushed" Alvarez. Pedro Alvarez had a much better pedigree than Polanco currently has and started much more polished. Here are the two's performances in the high minors (AA and AAA)

    Alvarez: 126 G, 536 PA, .304/.391/.560/.952
    Polanco: 90 G, 382 PA, .300/.377/.468/.846

    Polanco's numbers have been worse than Alvarez's in roughly only 3/4 of the games. If Alvarez a polished advanced college bat was rushed how would promoting Polanco (who by the way is 22, Pedro started his pro career at 22) not be rushing him?
    Last edited by burgh_fan66; 04-25-2014 at 03:51 PM.
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    When do you think he will get promoted?

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    I hope he gets called up soon. I just picked him up for my fantasy team

  11. #11
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    We are probably waiting until June. I have no doubt he is probably the best current option (but not because of his bat) however small market have to play the game of asset management.
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  12. #12
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    Jaff Decker with the call up today. Not that I'm against the decision to keep Polanco down right now, but let's not pretend this has nothing to do with avoiding Super 2. I just hope it doesn't come back to bite them later on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine3 View Post
    Jaff Decker with the call up today. Not that I'm against the decision to keep Polanco down right now, but let's not pretend this has nothing to do with avoiding Super 2. I just hope it doesn't come back to bite them later on.
    Super 2 is obviously the only reason he is still down right now, that's why they tried offering him a 7 year contract. As hard as it is to see RF struggling (although we have gotten production from there lately) and him crushing the ball in AAA, it is still the right decision.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, even if Polanco would have been called up earlier, or even from the start, there's no guarantee he would be doing this well, he may very well struggle when he gets promoted. Even if he were hitting well, his production would probably only net us maybe an additional win, not a lot more. That does not justify however many millions it will cost down the road

  14. #14
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    Polanco is obviously down because of Super 2 but the Pirates do have a case for keeping him down not pertaining to that. He only has 446 career PA above A ball. The general consensus is Pedro Alvarez, probably the most advanced college bat to come through the Pirates system as of late, was rushed and he received 536 PA above A ball before being called up. The numbers posted by those two in those samples are rather close as well.
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    I remember going to El Toro's MLB debut. Back when he wore 17 (Have his jersey shirt with 17 on it)
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