On Monday afternoon, the Dominican Winter League announced that Gregory Polanco won both the Most Valuable Player and the Rookie of the Year awards. Polanco helped his Leones del Escogido team to a 31-19 record, the best in the Dominican Winter League.
Polanco finished with a .331 batting average, losing the batting title on the last day by two points. He led the league with a .922 OPS, the only player in the league with an OPS over the .900 mark. He also led the league with 28 runs scored and 55 base hits. Polanco had ten doubles, one triple, five homers and stole seven bases in eight attempts. He drove in 28 runs and drew 28 walks. Possibly the most impressive part about his season is that he missed games early on with the flu and family issues, then a few weeks later, he missed a week with a stomach virus, so he wasn’t at 100% all season.
The regular season is over in the Dominican, but Polanco still hopes his off-season is far from done. Polanco and Starling Marte will begin their playoffs on Friday night, competing in a round robin tournament among the four best teams in the Dominican League. The two best from the round robin tournament go on to a championship series and the winner of that series will head to the Caribbean Series, where they will meet the best teams from the Winter leagues in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.