Gregory Polanco played center field on Friday night

Winter Leagues: Polanco Reaches Base Five Times In Victory

After Gregory Polanco’s last game in the playoffs, we used the title “Polanco Reaches Base Four Times In Victory“. Just one game later, he one-upped himself, reaching base five times in Escogido’s 9-6 win. Polanco went 1-for-2, walking four times and hitting a ninth inning RBI single. He was a big part of his team’s offense, coming around to score on three of those walks. Escogido has now won three straight, tying the best-of-nine series at three games apiece. Game seven will take place tonight at 6:35 PM EST and can be viewed online at Escogido.com.

Yesterday, we recapped the Winter League performances of six of the top 15 Pirates prospects. Polanco obviously improved greatly on his slow playoff start.

From Australia on Sunday, Sam Kennelly went 0-for-2 with sacrifice bunt and he was hit by a pitch. Kennelly made his first start of the ABL season at shortstop. He played the position nine times during the U18 National Youth Tournament earlier this month. Kennelly has now started at all four infield positions. He finished the regular season in a big slump, going 0-for-25 in his last 11 games. Kennelly’s Perth Heat team finished in first place and they have a first round bye in the playoffs.

Danny Arribas went 0-for-2 with a walk in his team’s 2-0 win. Sydney made the playoffs and they will play a three game series next weekend against Canberra.

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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.

Winter Leagues: Mixed Results For Top Pirates Prospects In Winter Ball

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Winter Leagues: Polanco and Escogido on Verge of Elimination

  • Y2JGQ2

    It seems obvious that as a lefty with great speed and plate discipline, this could be the best leadoff hitter we’ve had in Pittsburgh in the 28 years i’ve watched the team. Its exciting, I wonder where Marte goes….3? or 6? He can’t hit second because of his propensity of hitting tailor made two hoppers to third, he’d be a doubleplay machine.

    • John Dreker

      I think it’s possible he is a lead-off hitter at first, but his future should be in the middle of the order once he develops more power.

  • Y2JGQ2

    It seems odd that Australia just keeps putting out this kid who is CLEARLY overmatched at this level. I really don’t know how they couldn’t have a better option than running this kid out there every game, I almost feel bad for him. Kennerly is hitting what? .139?

    • John Dreker

      Earlier in the year, they weren’t playing with a full roster. More recently, the games weren’t that important, Perth clinched first place fairly easy, winning the regular season title by nine games. Kennelly can actually play all four infield positions, so he provides versatility. Among players his own age, he is probably the best out there. I don’t know if it’s possible, but he has played a lot of baseball year around, with a lot of travel, so there is a chance he could just be worn out. It will be interesting to see how much playing time he gets during the finals in two weeks.

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