Gregory Polanco moved to the lead-off spot last night for Indianapolis, which led to speculation that he will bat lead-off for the Pittsburgh Pirates when he comes up. That is probably a safe assumption and the move gives him about ten days to get used to batting in the top spot. Polanco already has a solid approach at the plate and the speed to make things happen once he gets on base. He eventually will hit for more power, so he isn’t a long-term solution at the top spot, but for now, he fits the mold of a lead-off hitter.
The only problem I see with the move is what you see in the video below, another RBI hit. This season, he is hitting .467 with runners in scoring position and because of that, Polanco leads the International League and all Pirates minor leaguers with 46 RBIs. Sure he fits the lead-off mold now with speed and ability to get on base, but he also fits the mold(and need) of a middle of the order hitter. The homers will eventually come and six already this season isn’t bad, so the decision to move him to the top spot is going to take away some of that strength. In reality, wherever you put him, there is going to be a hole somewhere else and until they clone Polanco, you just have to fill the biggest need.
You could compare Polanco to what happened with Barry Bonds. He started as a lead-off hitter, but once he became too good for the spot, his bat fit better in the middle of the lineup. That kind of career path in the lineup could be the same for Polanco. We should see that path lead to Pittsburgh very soon.
The second video was the only other highlight video uploaded, which isn’t hard to believe when the four Pirates affiliates combine for six runs. The Hit Collector does what he does best, driving in his 30th run of the season with this sixth inning single