In yesterday’s 6-5 loss to Gwinnett, Gregory Polanco continued his incredible season, collecting three hits, including the double in the video below. Polanco has proven he can hit in any situation. He has a .396 average vs right-handed pitchers and the same .396 mark in road games. He’s hitting .373 against lefties and .380 at home. With runners on base, he is hitting .455, but if you put those runners in scoring position, his average goes up to .490…yes, .490!
Polanco leads the International League in runs, hits, triples, RBIs, total bases, batting average, OBP, slugging percentage and of course, OPS. His OPS is .116 higher than second place in the league. That difference is bigger than the difference between 2nd and 14th place. Basically, he is good. The video below shows off that sweet left-handed swing that will be coming to Pittsburgh in about three weeks.
Stetson Allie hit his eighth homer of the season on Saturday. He has played 18 home games and 18 road games this year, but this homer was his seventh at home. His only road homer came Tuesday in Binghamton. Allie has a five game hitting streak going and he has reached base in seven straight.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Thanks to Ike Davis we shouldn’t need to press “Babe” into MLB service for a couple years and thanks to his aggressive AA placement this year he is not too old to stay in AA for a while. He will be very erratic for a while but I think he will smooth out the downs and accentuate the ups through the summer. Lambo will probably be on the Pirate bench by August so Stetson can have 1B to himself next year. Certainly he and everyone in the Bucs org knows he has to work on pitch selection to have a career. He needs to put up monster walks and he’ll always strike out a lot but he will be ready to star by June of 2016. Perfect three result player who can lead the league in HRs, BBs and Ks.
It is still early in the year, but Allie has been extremely impressive. He is young for the class, and extremely inexperienced for the class yet has put up a .349 OBP and a .841 OPS. That is a very similar OBP as Polanco put up in AA and better OPS. No, Allie is not the level of prospect as Polanco…but his start in Altoona has been damn impressive.
John,that road/home home run disparity of Allie’s is all the more confusing when one considers the difficulty in hitting them out of PNG field over the years.
With his power, he shouldn’t have any trouble hitting it out of any stadium, so it seems to be more that he is struggling on the road. He also hit half of his homers in a three game stretch, which obviously happened at home. I just looked it up and surprisingly, nine of his 24 homers before this year were hit at home, so his split was leaning towards better road numbers before this year.
John, wouldn’t you really have to look at pitching match ups more than stadium or home/away splits to get a better read on why he is hitting more HRs at home? The pitching match ups at home thus far could simply be more favorable than his road match ups.
Sure, short-term pitching match-ups could have an effect, but over the course of a season, it will all even out, so you use the ballparks as the measuring stick and Altoona has historically been a tough ballpark for homers compared to the entire Eastern League. This could still be considered short-term at this point
Just wondering your thoughts, per my comment below, is it wrong to think that Allie’s performance this year is extremely impressive? This is a kid who had what 740-750 plate appearances total coming into this year? And only what 280 or so were even High-A? And he struggled last year in his time in Bradenton (although his OBP still was not awful). I had him as one of my breakout candidates and so did, obviously, Tim here as well…but I definitely expected it to take him a little longer to find a stride. Despite the low batting average all of his peripheral statistics look very good and especially for his experience.
I think what he has done for his experience is very impressive. He still needs to work on consistency and cutting down the strikeouts. He had a three game stretch vs Harrisburg in which he went 7-for-10 with four homers, a double and three walks, plus a HBP. Take away those three games and he has a .674 OPS in 33 games, with huge strikeout numbers(34.5% K rate). Like I said, for his age/experience, he is doing great, but when you take away those three games, it shows he still has a lot of work to do.