Recent

0

Pirates Prospects 2012 Minor League Player of the Year

Gregory Polanco is the Pirates Prospects 2012 Minor League Player of the Year.

Last year there was a pretty close race between two players in the system for our 2011 Minor League Player of the Year. Starling Marte and Robbie Grossman both had similar results, and the edge went to Marte as he played at a higher level. This year there was another close race, only the two players played at the same level, on the same team. Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson were the biggest breakout players in the system, and two of the biggest breakout players in all of minor league baseball. Their numbers at the end of the year were very close, to the point where the race could be called a tie. Breaking down the two players, one of them edged out the other. Gregory Polanco was that player, and is the Pirates Prospects 2012 Minor League Player of the Year.

Polanco finished the 2012 season with a .325/.388/.522 line in 437 at-bats. Hanson had a .309/.381/.528 line in 489 at-bats. Both finished with 16 homers. Hanson had a higher slugging percentage, Polanco had a higher on-base percentage, and Polanco edged out Hanson in OPS by one point.

Looking at the advanced numbers, Polanco also had the edge. According to FanGraphs, Polanco’s wOBA was .408 compared to Hanson’s .405. The wRC+ numbers were 148-146 in favor of Polanco.

Defensively the results weren’t close. Polanco was much better at his defensive position in center field this year than Hanson was at shortstop. Polanco also gained points for his consistency. The outfielder had an OPS of .838 in April, .802 in May, .868 in June, 1.051 in July, and .900 in August. Hanson got off to a monster start in April, with a 1.129 OPS. His OPS in May was .859 and .936 in June. He slumped in July with a .752 OPS, but rebounded with an .898 OPS in August. Hanson only had one off-month, which isn’t a big deal. The fact that Polanco was over .800 each month, and improved in the final two months, gave him another edge.

It was close between the two players, but Polanco had the edge in several areas. Going forward, both are top prospects and potential impact players. They both currently play premium defensive positions, and both could remain at those positions, although there’s more of a chance of Polanco sticking in center than Hanson sticking at shortstop. They’re also both young enough that they’re not finished developing. Polanco added some power this year after adding some muscle to his tall, lean frame over the off-season. He could still add more power going forward. The same could be said for Hanson, who went from four homers in 442 at-bats in 2010-11 to 16 homers in 489 at-bats this year. Going forward, the two should continue to compete as the best position players in the system as they work their way up the levels to the majors.

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

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

DSL Pirates 2012: Players to Watch

Next Story »

Pirates Prospects 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

    I would’ve gone with a tie, but I am happy that both are in our system.

    I also hope that both develop as promised!!!

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    1 hour ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

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

    23 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

    2 days 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

    4 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

    5 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

    6 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

    1 week 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

    2 weeks 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
  • Browse More Articles

    More