Gregory Polanco Stays Hot for West Virginia

Gregory Polanco continues to swing one of the hottest bats in the South Atlantic League for Class A West Virginia.

The 20-year old from the Dominican Republic went 4-for-4 with four RBI in a 9-1 Power win against Delmarva in a game that took two days to get in. Polanco started Friday’s game with single to score Alen Hanson in the first inning. He followed that up with another RBI single, this time bringing Taylor Lewis around as part of a five-run West Virginia second inning.

Rain forced the game to be put on hold until Saturday and resulted in its shortening to seven innings. When the Power pulled the tarp off Appalachian Power Park, Polanco went back to work.

Hanson reached on a fielder’s choice in the West Virginia half of the third and racked up two more stolen bases, taking second and third. After a Lewis strikeout, Polanco came to the dish and smacked a pitch back up the middle to score Hanson. His next at-bat came in the fifth with Lewis on first base after taking a walk. This time Polanco took Delmarva’s Zack Folwer hard down the left field line to score Lewis.

Polanco’s heroics have not been limited to just one game. In West Virginia’s last ten contests, the Power centerfielder is hitting .412 (14-for-34) with 14 RBI, nine stolen bases and has an OPS of .962.  For comparison’s sake, Alen Hanson is hitting just .216 with zero RBI and just one extra base hit during the same span.

In the SAL, Polanco ranks fourth in RBI (66), sixth in batting average (.322, which leaps Hanson’s .320 average for the team lead), second in hits (114, behind only Hanson’s 122), third in stolen bases (37) and sixth in runs (66).


Since hitting the road early last week, West Virginia has posted an 8-5 record to bump the overall record for the second half to 15-14 and sits a game and a half behind SAL Northern Division leaders Hickory and Lakewood.

Obviously offensive threats such as Polanco and Hanson play a big part of that, but those guys were putting up similar numbers in the first half when the Power crawled to a last place finish and set a dubious league record with just seven wins away from Appalachian Power Park .

The difference in the second half has been pitching. When the Power get good outings from the starting pitchers, good things tend to happen. Zack Dodson has been strong since the All-Star break in late June, posting a 3-1 record in six starts with 21 strikeouts and eight walks issued.

Robby Rowland has also been solid in the second half. The 20-year old from Cloverdale, Calif. is 3-2 with 18 strikeouts and 10 walks issued in the second half. Not coincidentally, however, Dodson and Rowland each had less than their best stuff in recent games against Delmarva. Rowland went seven complete innings in Saturday’s second game, allowing four runs (all earned) in a loss. Dodson lasted just five innings and allowed only three runs, but took the loss in Friday’s first game against the Shorebirds.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Tom Bragg

Tom Bragg is a beat writer and analyst for He is the former sports editor of the (Fairmont) Times West Virginian and has worked at the Charleston Gazette, Charleston Daily Mail and the (Ashland, Ky.) Independent. His freelance work has appeared in newspapers all over West Virginia and he has written for The Associated Press with stories posted to several major media outlets (,, Tom graduated from Marshall University in May 2010 with a degree in Print Journalism. Follow Tom on Twitter: @TomBraggSports

Indians Split Double Header With Toledo

Next Story »

Morales’ Homer Gives Indians A Come-From-Behind Win

  • Lee Young

    Thx Tom.

Latest Analysis

  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    8 hours ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    1 day ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    3 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    4 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    5 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    6 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    1 week ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles