An Early Preview of What Could Be the Best Outfield in Baseball

A few weeks ago I wrote that the Pittsburgh Pirates could soon have the best outfield in baseball. That could happen once Gregory Polanco arrives in the majors, which is expected to be in the second half of the 2014 season. Polanco profiles as an impact player, and I believe he could be just as good as Andrew McCutchen when he reaches his potential in the majors. Adding Polanco to McCutchen and Starling Marte will give the Pirates a ton of value from the three outfield positions, with the trio under team control at least through the 2018 season.

Today saw a little preview of that outfield, with Polanco and McCutchen being paired in the same fielding and batting practice groups in mini camp. Here is Polanco on the very left, with McCutchen on the far right…

Gregory Polanco on the far left, Andrew McCutchen on the far right

Seeing Polanco in person really allows you to see where the “potential impact player” label comes from. Not only is he taller than everyone else, but he also has added a lot of muscle in the last few years…

Polanco and Jaff Decker

Polanco has a ton of power potential, and has already tapped into that power in the minors. With his frame at the plate, it’s easy to dream of a 30 home run hitter in the future. As a big left-hander, he shouldn’t be restricted by the dimensions at PNC Park, which can rob home runs from right-handers…

Gregory Polanco taking bp

He got some time in the batting cage today, and was making some hard contact with some smooth, easy swings…

And of course we already know that Andrew McCutchen can swing the bat well, you know, with the MVP award and all…

The best part about the future outfield of McCutchen, Polanco, and Marte is that all three are center fielders, giving them a ton of range. It would be hard to imagine a fly ball dropping in for a hit in that outfield…

McCutchen had seen Polanco before today, and has been impressed by what he has seen from the young outfielder…

“Every time you read up on him it seems like he’s doing something really good. He already has the physical part down. Just going out and doing it, he’s been doing that and showing it. He’s kind of a freak of nature to me. Big individual, young, can do everything, and do it very well. He’s going to be able to help us out a lot when that opportunity comes.”

That opportunity will almost certainly come by the end of the 2014 season.

Author: 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.

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