By: Matthew Kruth, The Burgh Blog Writer, @theburghblog_mk
2. Gregory Polanco Breaks Out
PITTSBURGH – Third year’s a charm for the Pirates’ Gregory Polanco. His first season at the major league level was disappointing, but understandable for the then uber-prospect. Last season brought consistent playing time and a better overall stat line for the young Pirates right fielder. This season may be the year Polanco puts it all together.
There were times last season when Polanco looked like a guy with the potential to put up 30+ home runs and carry the Pittsburgh offense on his back. There were also however, times where he looked like a player who would only be able to pass as the weak side of a platoon. As the year wore on though, Polanco seemed more comfortable and his overall numbers improved. Before the All-Star break last season, Polanco looked very much like the same player we saw in 2014 as he slashed .237/.315/.653. During the second half, Polanco caught fire. He improved his numbers to .276/.324/.749. He was one of the hottest players in all of baseball in August and was key to the Pirates success down the stretch. If Gregory Polanco can put up similar numbers to those he finished the season with, the Pirates will have a solid power/speed threat to compliment the rest of a very potent lineup.
This article was written before the news broke last night about Gregory Polanco’s extension. It looks as though the Pirates are also hoping for a breakout season from their right fielder. You can find more about Gregory Polanco’s extension here.