Gregory Polanco Promoted to Altoona

Gregory Polanco has been promoted to Altoona.

Gregory Polanco has been promoted to Altoona.

According to Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus, Gregory Polanco is being promoted to Altoona.

Polanco has been having a great season, hitting for a .312/.364/.472 line in 218 at-bats, with 17 doubles and six homers. The offensive numbers are even more impressive when you consider that Polanco has been playing in one of the most pitcher friendly leagues in all of minor league baseball. We recently rated him the second best prospect in the system behind Jameson Taillon now that Gerrit Cole has graduated. The jump to Double-A is the most difficult to make for any hitter, so this will be a huge test for the 21 year old outfielder. If he handles it well, he could make the jump to Indianapolis at the start of next season, and arrive in Pittsburgh by the middle of 2014.

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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, 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.

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  • Bob Smith

    I have feeling one of a lot of moves announced today

  • westonian420

    Step one complete. Step two continue the great play in AA for a month and be in Pittsburgh to help out in RF down the home stretch of a possible playoff run. All hands on deck!

    • Tim Williams

      I don’t see that happening.

      • Johan Graybow

        While I think that it is highly unlikely that we see Polanco in a buccos uni this year, if he absolutley goes off to the tune of a .310 avg, 10 hrs, and 15 sb in his first month and a half I could see him forcing the pirates hand.

        Either way an outfield of Polanco, McCutchen, and Marte is going to be pretty exciting and them hitting 1,2,3 is going to be incredible with their hitting, power, and speed.

        • Dean Manifest


          Imagine If Polanco AND Hanson work out. You could easily see a top of the order featuring Hanson Polanco Cutch Marte setting the table for Pedro Walker Sanchez and whoever ends up at 1b (maybe Bell??). What a nightmare that will be for opposing pitchers, defenses and catchers.

          And the outfield defense is even more exciting: we’ll have three centerfield gloves and two right field arms in one outfield.

  • Brad Walor

    Nice… but isn’t that Josh Bell in the picture?

    • Tim Williams

      Bell has never been in a Marauders uniform.

      • Ian Rothermund

        Yeah, and josh bell has a lot more weight on him. Not to mention the awkward looking batting stance…that’s Polanco, no doubt about it. Lol

  • PirateTom

    anybody else you see joining Polanco in Altoona?

    • Kevin Anstrom


  • duckwoes

    Anxious to see how Polanco does on an otherwise rather lackluster group in Altoona, position player wise

  • Ian Rothermund

    Between his speed and defense, both things you can project at the next level, wouldn’t he be a guy that the team could derive some value from in the last month of the season? Someone who can pinch run, steal some bases, come into right for the last couple innings. I think playoff teams generally have bench players that can fill niche roles and not just fill out a roster, like Inge. I’ll believe in the value of having a successful veteran like Burnett in the clubhouse to mentor guys like Cole and eventually Taillon, but realistically, what is Brandon Inge teaching anyone? How to hang on and collect a paycheck? I think it’s more important to shy away from negative influences in the clubhouse than it is to try to bring these “good clubhouse” guys in.

    • Tim Williams

      You’re talking about what you hope Polanco will eventually become. I don’t think he will be that player after half a season in Altoona, with no time spent in Triple-A. If they want a niche player, they can turn to Alex Presley, Felix Pie, or anyone else in Triple-A. No reason to rush Polanco for such a small role.

      • PirateTom

        So do you think if Polanco does well the rest of this year he would then start next season in AAA? And then maybe a big league promotion by this time next year if all goes well? That’s what I’m hoping for anyway, itching for an outfield of Marte, Cutch and Polanco

    • Dean Manifest

      I think Polanco could be useful by September. I’d rather have him pinch hitting than Inge, I’d rather have him pinch running than Harrison, and I’d rather have him subbing defensively than AP.

      But is his contribution worth the trade-off in minor league time? What about 40-man roster considerations?

      If the AA and AAA seasons are finished, and the roster allows for it? Hell yea I’ll call him up!!

      • Monkshot

        That’s video game logic. It doesn’t work that way unless he crushes, and I mean crushes AA pitching and then gets somehow moved up to AAA and starts being a world beater there. I don’t see the rush and most likely neither do the Pirates.

  • Chris O’Rorke

    corresponding move move Bell up to A+ ball?

    • PirateTom

      I like the sound of that

      • branbun

        Who is going to pitch Saturday for the Bucs? Oliver, Crumpton, or kent Tekulve?

        • Dean Manifest

          This is what’s so frustrating about getting a goose egg out of Karstens this season. Gomar was PERFECT in the swing role when healthy, and that’s exactly the role Jeff would’ve occupied had he been healthy. Which would have made him an easy call for Saturday. McDonald could have found himself that role as well, but of course he’s injured too.

          Our two most reliable starters (Burnett and Wandy) and our three best swing candidates (Jeff, James, Jeanmar) are all all injured at the same time. Not to mention McPherson, who also would’ve been a candidate for the swing role.

          Luckily Cole and Morton were ready just in time (I though Charlie was fine yesterday). If we can get a servicable starter two from a AAA guy maybe we’ll make it through this rough patch yet.

          Although u have to wonder if Huntington has placed a phone call to Houston (Norris) or Chicago (Garza) yet.

      • branbun

        Should Jordy Mercer permanently replace Barmes?

        • Dean Manifest

          I’d replace “permanently” with “indefinitely” but yes.

  • emjayinTN

    Tim: I love to see the Pirates starting to move guys like Polanco. Next up in my estimation should be Alen Hanson, 20, SS, He started 2013 with 13 E’s in his first 16 games and a batting average in the .150’s. Then his glovework got a lot better – only 5 E’s in the last 42 games, and he has raised his batting average to .282. in 238 AB’s mostly as the leadoff hitter he has 12 doubles, 5 triples, 4 HR’s, 27 RBI, 24W/45K’s. What do we have at Altoona? Gift Ngoepe who in 50 less AB’s is hitting .159, 7doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR’s, 11 RBI, 20W/69K’s with 10 E’s. The only thing that keeps this from being a done deal is that Hanson is only 20 and will not turn 21 until October. The Pirates started working with him on his defense when he started so badly, so the decision is – where can the Pirates provide more instruction for him – Bradenton or Altoona? I would definitely consider a switch of he and Ngoepe, and bring the roving infield instructor in to work between Altoona and Pittsburgh, where Jordy Mercer is quickly becoming our best SS who also has a bat.

  • Nuke Laloosh

    Startin to come together….startin to come together. Marte, Cutch, Polanco. That would be an impressive outfield in a couple of years.

  • Dean Manifest

    So what do we think about Spring 2014?


    Polanco, Taillon


    Hanson, Bell, Allie, Kingham, Glasnow


    Heredia. Barnes, Herrera

    The beauty of the current pipeline is that Travis Snider has roughly another 150-200 games to establish whether he’s a regular, a platoon guy, a backup, or something else, and Tabata and Presley have the same window to fight for a roster spot.

    And Mercer gets maybe double that before Hanson knocks on the door (I believe Polanco is a full season ahead of Hanson despite being on roughly the same trajectory until about a day ago).

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