Prospect Highlights: Speed From Gregory Polanco, Home Run From Mel Rojas Jr.

In yesterday’s highlights, we saw a double to the gap from Gregory Polanco, with him driving the ball the other way. He has great speed, but didn’t have to run hard to make it into second base. With that in mind, here is a little sample of Polanco showing off his speed. In Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Scranton/WB, he had an RBI single in the ninth inning, followed by him stealing second base and making it rather easily.

From Altoona’s game on Wednesday, Mel Rojas Jr. hits a two-run homer in the fourth inning. He is putting together quite a streak recently and his overall season numbers are strong too. He is hitting .310 with an .806 OPS and he has 12 walks against 18 strikeouts. Both of those last two numbers are positive totals from him, as his career-high in walks is 46 and he has struck out at least 100 times in each of the last three seasons. In his last ten games, Rojas is hitting .405 with a 1.004 OPS. He is hitting well with runners on base, batting .345 in 55 at-bats, which has led to a team-high 23 RBIs, third highest total in the Eastern League. This could be the breakout season we’ve been waiting to get from Rojas since 2010, when he was drafted in the third round and he was called a raw, toolsy center field with potential.

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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  • leowalter

    Rojas Jr. is certainly is coming along, Just a week or so ago I commented here that his .730 OPS didn’t merit a promo to AAA, and presto, he has brought it up considerably. If he maintains or improves those numbers,I would guess he may be gone from Altoona.

    • Y2JGQ2

      My guess is that Rojas will go to AAA, when Polanco comes up to the Pirates

      • leowalter

        I hope so. He looked good to me last season AFTER Polanco arrived in Altoona. But I was a bit disappointed with him through April, but obviously he has really picked it up and looks to me like a true MLB prospect.

      • John Dreker

        At this point, that seems like a good guess. He may even go to Indy if they decide to call up a bat and go with Decker, or Lambo when he comes off the minor league DL in a few days

        • deacs

          You think his ceiling might be good 4th OF? Hey if he pans out he could be decent trade bait.

          • deacs

            Just played the Polanco video. He runs like Colin Kaepernick – very fast, long strides, almost as if he’s coasting.

          • John Dreker

            I had a long-time NL scout tell me late last year that he though Rojas would be a good fourth outfielder in the majors someday. Before this season, I figured he would at least make it to the majors due to his defensive value, the fact he could play all three positions and he has some speed to his game. If he continues to hit, then I could see him in that fourth outfielder role for a few years in the majors.