Winter League Recap: Gregory Polanco Doubles Twice In Win

If you have been reading the site the last few days, you have read a lot about Gregory Polanco. The Pittsburgh Pirates top hitting prospect was featured on the site on Friday, then went out and homered in the season opener. The next day, he hit his second homer, then on Sunday, he had a down day and only hit an RBI double. On Monday, Polanco was listed as the top prospect from Bradenton this season, then he went out and hit two doubles, giving him five extra base hits in his first four games.

Polanco has extra base hits in all four games he has played in Winter Ball

Polanco has extra base hits in all four games he has played in Winter Ball

Polanco’s Leones del Escogido team won 12-4 on Monday, as Polanco was the only Pirates player to see action in Winter League ball. He went 2-for-5 with two doubles, a walk and two runs scored. He is batting .375 in 16 AB’s and five of his six hits have been for extra bases. Polanco has scored five runs, drawn two walks and he has three outfield assists.

The Venezuelan and Mexican Leagues were both off on Monday. Two games were scheduled for the Dominican League, but the Licey/Gigantes game was postponed.

Why Aren’t Some Guys Playing Yet?

The Dominican League has a rule put in place by MLB called the “Extreme Fatigue” rule. What it basically does, is limit the amount of playing time certain players get in Winter ball. If a player got in too much playing time during the regular season, either in the minors or majors, they aren’t able to take part in Winter ball until December 1st. It is why some players will show up on rosters at the beginning of the season, but they won’t show up in the league until well after Opening Day. The rule also has provisions for injured players and ones that needed surgery during the season.

The list of temporarily banned players in the Dominican includes four Pittsburgh Pirates players. Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte, Alen Hanson and Stolmy Pimentel are all on that list. Pimentel is the only one currently on a roster, while Hanson is playing in the Arizona Fall League. Alvarez has never played Winter Ball and it sounds like Marte will eventually join the Escogido team, where he could see playing time next to Polanco.

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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