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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Gregory Polanco Now Considered a Top Three Prospect in the Game

**Keith Law updated his top 25 prospects, removing a few guys who have already graduated, and adjusting some of the rankings for what has happened this year. The only Pirates prospect on the list was Gregory Polanco, who was ranked third overall, behind Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa. Polanco moves up ten spots from Law’s original rankings, likely due to his huge season.

Law didn’t give much analysis on Polanco, other than mocking the idea that he has things to work on. Oscar Taveras was ranked fourth, and Law noted he was in a similar situation, with both outfielders expected in the majors next month.

**At Baseball America, Ben Badler has Polanco as the top fantasy baseball prospect. He also adds the note that Polanco would rank second in his top 100 if he was re-ranking the list today, and removing guys who no longer had prospect eligibility. Badler also has Buxton first overall. Badler notes that Polanco is only in the minors due to service time, and that he will be up in a few weeks.

**Earlier in the week, Baseball Prospectus had a report on Polanco, noting that he does actually have things to work on. The report on his defense in right field wasn’t good, and that’s a key area for future improvement. But count me in as someone who believes he’s only being held back for service time reasons. Polanco legitimately has things to work on, as does every young player. But a few weeks from now, he will be working on those same things in the majors, and it’s not because he’ll be showing drastic improvements with his fielding or any other issues during those weeks.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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I’m obviously very happy with the love Polanco is getting and greatly look forward to his major league debut. Honestly, after watching Dee Gordon last night I really want a player with that type of speed (wish Marte would run more too)…Polanco has a big big bat obviously but that speed of his could also be a HUGE bonus for this team. With McCutchen, Marte, and even Alvarez…the overall team speed wouldn’t be terrible with Polanco in the lineup. Why can’t Marte run more?! Ok…enough rambling now.


why won’t MCCUTHEN run more? HE is the fast one…..no power this year, AND he’s running less….. oh wait, noone can say anything about the amazing cutch…..all those walks, and he isn’t turning them into doubles with his speed, its a complete waste


I will agree with that. One of the first times we agree! Neither Cutch not Marte are aggressive enough or successful enough on the base paths. I think Marte has a little more speed actually than Cutch but neither are aggressive enough and the frustration is that it is very hard to figure out why. How many times has Cutch been walked with 2-outs? Take the next base and at least try to get into scoring position. The Pirates, if I am correct, have 29 stolen bases as a team…Gordon has, what 32 or 33 individually? How is it that Pedro Alvarez has 4 SB and Cutch has only 7?! This is an absolute problem for this team…a team that can’t score enough runs and doesn’t seem to help itself when it has two extremely capable players in McCutchen and Marte.

One GLARING weakness that is all-to-rarely discussed when it comes to this team is the lack of ANY viable lead off hitter…either in the majors or on the horizon. Maybe Hanson? Marte doesn’t get on base enough but, presumably will have to leadoff when Polanco comes up…this team would look very very different and be more potent if we had someone like Dee Gordon at the top of the lineup.

Maybe an odd suggestion, but maybe the answer to some issues would be to bat McCutchen leadoff when Polanco comes up. Put Polanco 3rd. You get the power and speed production still from the 3-hole, but would improve the leadoff spot. Also might make Cutch more likely to run. Finally, I wonder if he would see more pitches because they would be more hesitant to put the leadoff man on base so freely.

Scott Kliesen

Cutch is never, ever, going to hit lead off for Pirates again. Nor should he.


Disagree with whether he should or shouldn’t. His OBP would play well at leadoff. He would see more pitches which would allow him to actually be able to have a chance to use his bat. Would also give him a chance to use his speed more. Right now there are a ton of times where he’s hitting with 2-out and none on and getting nothing to hit and then he’s not using his speed once he gets walked.

Scott Kliesen

Even if all you contend is proven to be true, the best outcome is in essence robbing Peter to pay Paul. It would be foolish to bat an unproven rookie in the most important run producing spot in the lineup. Neither Bonds nor Cutch started their careers in the 3 hole. They earned it by proving themselves. Even if Polanco proves he’s the next Pirate Superstar, he will face challenges early on. This adversity will only be exacerbated if he’s thrust into a spot in the lineup he’s not ready for.

Joe Nastasi

We are driving to Chicago for June 20th game & have great seats down right field line. Not that he’s the reason for the seat selection. OK maybe it was. Never been to Wrigley. Can’t wait. Ernie Banks bobblehead to boot.

IC Bob

Polonco could be a a terrible RF and still would be way better then the three we trot out every night. Tabata just isn’t good, Harrison tries hard and uses tremendous effort but he lacks talent for the position and as for Snider AAAA.


It will be interesting to see how he will react when he does get here . Will he put pressure on himself which could result in a slow start or will he come out swinging and show why people think he is the real deal . One thing for sure , I wish I had his earning power !!!

Lino Donoso

Just checked the schedule. Indianapolis plays four in Norfolk starting June 20. I plan to be at all four anyway but, selfishly, wouldn’t mind seeing GP called up, say, June 24. OTH, looking at Indy’s schedule, they finish a home stand on the 18th, and are off the 19th before traveling to Norfolk. That could be the day, Super 2 allowing.


Last year, Cole was called up on June 11. Polanco won’t be more then a day or two after the 11th.

Cato the Elder

They will bring him up for a home game – they won’t call him up to play on the road in Miami – I’d say we’re looking at the 17th vs. the Reds.

Alex Henry

I do not think they would wait for a home game if they believe that passed the time for Super 2 eligibility he will be called up immediately. For example they brought up Marte when they were at Houston.


I remember that. First pitch HR. Wow was Houston bad that year. I miss Houston.

Alex Henry

Yeah i remember exactly where I was standing. Also I bet the Bucs would have 4 to 5 more wins if Houston were still in the central. lol

Cato the Elder

That is a fair point. We’ll see, I have no inside information, but if I were to wager, I would wager he makes his MLB debut at PNC park.


For what reason would they wait for a home game?

Cato the Elder

Added ticket revenue.


As an aside, there was a nice write up (with video) on Orlando Castro on fangraphs this morning. Definately worth the read on a fringe prospect.


Lee Young

jalcorn…thanks…I lean more towards Tim’s view of Castro, but ya never know!


Sounds a bit like the next Wandy – which would be a cool thing – 10+ years of eating up innings and frustrating hitters with location and stuff.


That would be good lonely, but keep in mind only the first 6 1/2 years would be with the Bucs. If he’s as good as Wandy was, no wasy the get into his free agency years.

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