Winter Leagues: Polanco and Escogido on Verge of Elimination

On Monday night in the Dominican Winter League finals, Gregory Polanco and Escogido lost 3-1, putting them on the brink of elimination. Polanco went 1-for-3 with a walk and sacrifice bunt. In his previous two games combined, he went 4-for-6 with five walks. Game eight of the best-of-nine series is tonight at 6:30 PM EST (start time was changed from 4:05 PM) and can be viewed online at Escogido.com.

Nothing else was going on in Winter ball on Monday. Harold Ramirez, Tito Polo and their Tigres teammates start the Latin American Series tonight. The best teams from Colombia, the Veracruz League, Nicaragua and Panama are all in the tournament. In Panama, the Indios team won the league title. Ulises Montilla is on the Indios roster, though he hasn’t played in over a week, so he might not be playing in the Latin American Series either.

The Australian League returns to play on Friday. Sydney with Danny Arribas, will take on Canberra in a three game series. The winner will go on to play Sam Kennelly and the Perth Heat.

John Dreker

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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  • deacs

    Are they just not pitching to Polanco or is his eye that good? With reference to the walks I mean.

    • John Dreker

      I’d say it’s a little of both. He is the best hitter in the lineup along with Carlos Santana, so there is that factor, but I’ve also seen about 60 of his Winter plate appearances by now and he has rarely chased a pitch, even close ones with two strikes or in big spots. None of the six walks were intentional, while Santana has been intentionally walked four times in the last three games

      • deacs

        Do you think he could teach Marte a thing or two about taking a pitch or he is what he is at this point? Not trying to nit pick on a 5 tool player but if he could take more walks I think with his speed they’d be forced to throw him better pitches knowing he won’t chase as much and they don’t want him on first with that speed.

        • John Dreker

          Before Marte came up in 2012, part of his checklist of things to do was be more selective at the plate. He set a personal walk record in just over half a season, but it seemed to disappear once he made it to the majors. I think Marte will always have issues, but you could see slightly better results with experience. You’ll never see anything like Polanco numbers though, they have two totally different approaches at the plate.

          • deacs

            Fair enough. You think Polanco is slated for 2nd behind Marte and in front of Cutch?

            • John Dreker

              I’ve had this discussion with some people and have heard good cases for three different spots in the lineup. I personally would go with Polanco-Marte-McCutchen because I think Polanco will make an excellent lead-off hitter with his patience and speed. Eventually he will have middle of the order power if all goes well. Batting him first puts a high OBP guy in front of Marte, who should see a lot of fastballs with a running threat like Polanco on base ahead of him and an MVP batting behind him.
              That being said, they seem to like Marte in the lead-off role and Polanco usually bats 2nd or 3rd, so they may choose comfort when putting out the lineup