Gregory Polanco is attending mini camp in Bradenton

Prospect Videos: More Gregory Polanco Greatness and a New Shortstop

Here are a few short videos to enjoy on your Saturday morning. Earlier in the week I posted two Gregory Polanco videos highlighting his power (a home run) and his speed (beating out a chopper to second base). Today there are two more Polanco clips, both coming from Imo Kemp, who is a must follow on Twitter (click the link to go to his Twitter page).

The first clip is a response to Polanco beating out a grounder to second base this week in the Dominican League finals. This clip is a GIF of him beating out a chopper to the first baseman in Altoona.

It seems that wasn’t the only time this happened.

I think what we can take from these videos is that Polanco’s speed allows him to be a threat and a playmaker. Not only does he have power, but his speed will definitely keep the #InfieldHit hashtag going strong, and will lead to a high average.

The second video shows off Polanco’s arm. Not really the best positioning by the catcher, and he missed the tag, but the throw was accurate and beat the runner to the plate.

Finally, this video has been up since May. We might have shown it before. It’s of new Pirates shortstop prospect Adrian Valerio. The Pirates signed him for $400,000 as a 16 year old out of the Dominican Republic this past year. I’m posting the video again because I was just watching it yesterday (via our own John Dreker), and because I’ve been hearing great things about Valerio’s defense. In preparing for the Prospect Guide, I heard that his defense is extremely smooth, and that he could already be one of the best defensive infielders in the system. He’ll be an interesting guy to follow to see how his hitting develops. The video below shows him doing fielding drills, and hitting from both sides of the plate. I’d expect Valerio to start in the DSL in 2014, with a jump to the GCL in 2015.

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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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  • Jeff

    Tim, if he progresses normally, what would be his eta in PNC Park?

  • rsborelli

    Just warmups, but looks impressive! Very fluid. If he is projected for GCL in 2015, that would say he probably get a full season in WV in 2016, assuming all goes well. My guess is we are looking at a good five years out! Loooooong way to go.

    • John Dreker

      Yup, he is still just 16 years old, so we are talking 2018 at the earliest and that’s if the bat comes around like they hope. You’ll hear a lot about him during that time because his defense is special already. This video is from two months before he signed and the reports keep getting better.

  • leefoo

    If they gave him $400k then he BETTER be able to hit!!!

    :) :) :)

    • emjayinTN

      foo: That is truly a mouthful because our 3 International Players closest to the majors are Gregory Polanco, $150K bonus; Alen Hanson, $90K bonus; and Joely Rodriguez, $55K bonus, and all were signed in 2009. The Pirates made a big splash with Luis Heredia in 2010 at $3 mil and then Harold Ramirez in 2011 at $1 mil, but otherwise have been very frugal in their pursuit of International Players. With Hanson probably starting at AA in 2014 in his age 21 season, and Max Moroff starting at Hi A in his age 21 season, I doubt that the Pirates will attempt to move him any faster than normal.

      I think that the depth at SS is part of the reason that Dilson Herrera was made available to get some help down the stretch from Marlon Byrd. It was a tough decision, but getting close without Byrd in favor of a 2B who may help in 2 or 3 years was not an option the Pirates could have withstood. The Pirates have all of the “cookie-cutter” 5’11” or 6’0″ middle infielders they can handle. One of the guys written up well by Tim in the Guide was Bealyn Chourio, 6’3″ 200 from Venezuela, and another in the long line of Pirate Switchhitting Shortstops. He has had some injury issues, but will turn 20 this year and with guys like Valeria behind him, he may have to be pushed a little faster.

  • leadoff

    Not any further to go with this kid than some of 2013’s draft picks if he is in the GCL this year. Looks like a leadoff of hitter, don’t know if they are going to change that aspect also seems to have some fundamentals down for SS.

    • SteveW

      Yes – but he is not going to be in the GCL this year. Next year at the earliest and possibly 2016 if his hitting isn’t good in the Dominican League this upcoming season. Also depends on him makeup. Many kids that young aren’t ready to come to the U.S. for language/social reasons.

  • johnrussellskinner

    Valerio’s LH stroke looks very natural!

  • glassers

    Nice job on the radio today Tim !!!!

  • Israel P.

    Valerio seems to throw to first side-arm, especially when moving to his left. I have no idea if that is noteworthy.

  • jon6er

    Spot on about the catcher on Polanco’s throw. For whatever reason he is almost two steps in front of home plate. Possibly maybe they are told to avoid collisions in certain situations in the minors to prevent injuries. Not basing that statement on anything I know or have heard. As for Valerio he looks to have great hands which is one aspect of all great shortstops. I know it was practice but his swing looks very fluid and natural, especially from the left side. Thanks for showing this kid Tim. Maybe I will see another WS before I kick the bucket, lol!

  • The Masked robshelb


    If Mr. Valerio is indeed only sixteen years old and already 5’11” . . .

    He might actually grow another inch or two — which might potentially put him in the elite status of bigger SS’s someday.

    Eat your spinach and lots of soy protein, Adrian. And if you do turn out to become a phenom, maybe we’ll see you in Altoona sometime in 2015 !!!

    Manny Machado was already playing in high-A ball when he was only 18. (237 AB’s.) Wouldn’t it be kewl if Valerio could do approximately the same thing — and then spend the last month of that season with The Curve !!

    If all goes well, I could easily be on Adrian’s bandwagon this time next winter !! Horray !!!!

    • BigB2323

      Soy protein is a bad idea for any Male. Especially a young male. He needs to eat whey, casein types of proteins.

  • jon6er

    I posted a comment about how many free agents have actually worked out over the past 15 to 20 years the other day but and oddly enough I found this article from Jan. 25th on yahoo sports. It’s interesting reading if you haven’t already.

  • doby1404

    I know the kid is only 16, I hope the coaching he gets, helps him to get rid of the double pump release he shows on film

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