Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco

Prospect Highlights: More Strong Defense By Gregory Polanco, RBI Hit From Alen Hanson

In yesterday’s highlights, we saw Gregory Polanco make a nice shoestring catch. In last night’s Indianapolis game, he made this nice leaping grab going back towards the wall shown in the video below. We also showed his speed yesterday, with a clip of him stealing third base. This game may have been his last home game in Indianapolis. The team goes on the road now until June 11th and Polanco should be up with the Pittsburgh Pirates shortly before then.

Here is an RBI single from Gregory Polanco, proving he isn’t just all defense and speed the last two days. He’s hit well since moving to the lead-off spot, collecting two hits in each of the three games he’s been at the top. That has led to him scoring five runs in those games, giving him the International League lead with 42 runs scored.

Alen Hanson hits an RBI single, scoring the only run of the day for the Altoona Curve. Hard to believe it, but Hanson led all Pirates minor league players with 22 RBIs in the month of May and he didn’t waste any time picking up his first one in June.

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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.

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  • deacs

    Do we know when the Super Two deadline passed or when it was projected to have passed?

    • John Dreker

      There is no way to know exactly, it’s based on where things end after the 2016 season. It PROBABLY passed this weekend and now teams just wait for that ten day buffer because you’d hate to find out you missed by 1-2 days. That would be an extremely costly mistake, especially since they waited all this time. I think Polanco will be up the 9th. It’s based on Gerrit Cole being called up the 11th last year, this season ending sooner on the calendar(so less time to get service days) and the fact that the 9th is a night game following a day game at home. Gives them time to announce it after(or during) the game on the 8th, make the move on the 9th and have 24+ hours to sell tickets for his arrival.

      • deacs

        Thanks John as always. What was the deal on OscarTaveras? Did he come up before the possible deadline? I know Singleton signed an extension effectively negating it (I think).

        • John Dreker

          Taveras was right around where the cutoff should be. Based on the last super-2 cutoff, he was called up one day after it passed. It obviously changes year to year, but I can’t imagine that the Cardinals didn’t figure it out and assume it was a safe day. Taveras was ready before they called him up, so when you’re that close, why chance it by 1-2 days? No one can add $5-10mil value per day to a club(based one 1-2 days). Taveras helps the Pirates case though, as does Singleton, so I wouldn’t totally rule out Polanco coming up before the 9th, but it just seems like the best fit for me. We might see him Friday night if they think it’s a safe date now

          • emjayinTN

            The Cardinals move to get Bourjos has not worked and that might have been why Taveras was called up “early”. With JHAY hitting like he is, why hurry rushing GP to RF, unless he is coming up to give Starling Marte time to get himself together? If GP comes up on the 9th he will get .113 years of service at best in 2014, so that 2 years from now he will have 2.113 yrs of service and probably be at least 10 days short of Super Two. What was it this year? Was it 2.119?

            • emjayinTN

              John: Forgot to add that the Pirates need to move Alen Hanson to AAA now and get him around a more mature group of players. He has the talent, but sometimes his head and his body do not get it together at the same time. I think maturity will help, and a 21 year old around a team that averages about 26 could possibly learn just through osmosis. He is a solid contributor even now, and gets even better when his defense is under control.

              • John Dreker

                It could help, I just don’t think there is a rush with him. People will cry super-2 with him next year I’m sure, but he will definitely need the time. If he comes up after the All-Star game, which is when they usually make moves, then he will still get a full season of AAA under his belt. I would like to see him be a September call-up this year since he’s already on the 40-man and they used an option sending him down. Getting him that experience would be great.

            • John Dreker

              It’s been 119 and 122 the last two years. Even if they decided they needed to get Taveras up when Adams got hurt, I would still think they would take a look at the super-2 situation and say, “Hey this might cost us $5mil extra a day to have him up. Maybe we should wait until Monday.” Obviously the Cardinals are in a better financial position, but that type of money could definitely be better spent elsewhere than two days extra for one player. Based on that, I think the cutoff has passed and we are now in the 10 day buffer time

              • deacs

                Can you send someone down for 10 days to “work on stuff” and have that work in your favor with regards to Super Two?

                • John Dreker

                  You could, but it would look real bad if the player didn’t deserve to be sent down. Once Polanco is up, he will stay. He has an advanced approach at the plate and adds value with his speed and defense. You had legit people in Spring Training saying he was ready and he’s done nothing in 56 AAA games to prove those people wrong

          • pilbobuggins

            I really hope the pirates don’t hold him back longer just to prove a point. By that I mean what they said the other day about him needing seasoning ect.. and it was not because of the super 2 .

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