Gregory Polanco has been promoted to Altoona.
Gregory Polanco has been promoted to Altoona.

According to Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus, Gregory Polanco is being promoted to Altoona.

https://twitter.com/ProfessorParks/status/345286134898774016

Polanco has been having a great season, hitting for a .312/.364/.472 line in 218 at-bats, with 17 doubles and six homers. The offensive numbers are even more impressive when you consider that Polanco has been playing in one of the most pitcher friendly leagues in all of minor league baseball. We recently rated him the second best prospect in the system behind Jameson Taillon now that Gerrit Cole has graduated. The jump to Double-A is the most difficult to make for any hitter, so this will be a huge test for the 21 year old outfielder. If he handles it well, he could make the jump to Indianapolis at the start of next season, and arrive in Pittsburgh by the middle of 2014.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. So what do we think about Spring 2014?

    AAA

    Polanco, Taillon

    AA

    Hanson, Bell, Allie, Kingham, Glasnow

    High-A

    Heredia. Barnes, Herrera

    The beauty of the current pipeline is that Travis Snider has roughly another 150-200 games to establish whether he’s a regular, a platoon guy, a backup, or something else, and Tabata and Presley have the same window to fight for a roster spot.

    And Mercer gets maybe double that before Hanson knocks on the door (I believe Polanco is a full season ahead of Hanson despite being on roughly the same trajectory until about a day ago).

  2. Startin to come together….startin to come together. Marte, Cutch, Polanco. That would be an impressive outfield in a couple of years.

  3. Tim: I love to see the Pirates starting to move guys like Polanco. Next up in my estimation should be Alen Hanson, 20, SS, He started 2013 with 13 E’s in his first 16 games and a batting average in the .150’s. Then his glovework got a lot better – only 5 E’s in the last 42 games, and he has raised his batting average to .282. in 238 AB’s mostly as the leadoff hitter he has 12 doubles, 5 triples, 4 HR’s, 27 RBI, 24W/45K’s. What do we have at Altoona? Gift Ngoepe who in 50 less AB’s is hitting .159, 7doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR’s, 11 RBI, 20W/69K’s with 10 E’s. The only thing that keeps this from being a done deal is that Hanson is only 20 and will not turn 21 until October. The Pirates started working with him on his defense when he started so badly, so the decision is – where can the Pirates provide more instruction for him – Bradenton or Altoona? I would definitely consider a switch of he and Ngoepe, and bring the roving infield instructor in to work between Altoona and Pittsburgh, where Jordy Mercer is quickly becoming our best SS who also has a bat.

        • This is what’s so frustrating about getting a goose egg out of Karstens this season. Gomar was PERFECT in the swing role when healthy, and that’s exactly the role Jeff would’ve occupied had he been healthy. Which would have made him an easy call for Saturday. McDonald could have found himself that role as well, but of course he’s injured too.

          Our two most reliable starters (Burnett and Wandy) and our three best swing candidates (Jeff, James, Jeanmar) are all all injured at the same time. Not to mention McPherson, who also would’ve been a candidate for the swing role.

          Luckily Cole and Morton were ready just in time (I though Charlie was fine yesterday). If we can get a servicable starter two from a AAA guy maybe we’ll make it through this rough patch yet.

          Although u have to wonder if Huntington has placed a phone call to Houston (Norris) or Chicago (Garza) yet.

  4. Between his speed and defense, both things you can project at the next level, wouldn’t he be a guy that the team could derive some value from in the last month of the season? Someone who can pinch run, steal some bases, come into right for the last couple innings. I think playoff teams generally have bench players that can fill niche roles and not just fill out a roster, like Inge. I’ll believe in the value of having a successful veteran like Burnett in the clubhouse to mentor guys like Cole and eventually Taillon, but realistically, what is Brandon Inge teaching anyone? How to hang on and collect a paycheck? I think it’s more important to shy away from negative influences in the clubhouse than it is to try to bring these “good clubhouse” guys in.

    • You’re talking about what you hope Polanco will eventually become. I don’t think he will be that player after half a season in Altoona, with no time spent in Triple-A. If they want a niche player, they can turn to Alex Presley, Felix Pie, or anyone else in Triple-A. No reason to rush Polanco for such a small role.

      • So do you think if Polanco does well the rest of this year he would then start next season in AAA? And then maybe a big league promotion by this time next year if all goes well? That’s what I’m hoping for anyway, itching for an outfield of Marte, Cutch and Polanco

    • I think Polanco could be useful by September. I’d rather have him pinch hitting than Inge, I’d rather have him pinch running than Harrison, and I’d rather have him subbing defensively than AP.

      But is his contribution worth the trade-off in minor league time? What about 40-man roster considerations?

      If the AA and AAA seasons are finished, and the roster allows for it? Hell yea I’ll call him up!!

      • That’s video game logic. It doesn’t work that way unless he crushes, and I mean crushes AA pitching and then gets somehow moved up to AAA and starts being a world beater there. I don’t see the rush and most likely neither do the Pirates.

  5. Anxious to see how Polanco does on an otherwise rather lackluster group in Altoona, position player wise

  6. Step one complete. Step two continue the great play in AA for a month and be in Pittsburgh to help out in RF down the home stretch of a possible playoff run. All hands on deck!

      • While I think that it is highly unlikely that we see Polanco in a buccos uni this year, if he absolutley goes off to the tune of a .310 avg, 10 hrs, and 15 sb in his first month and a half I could see him forcing the pirates hand.

        Either way an outfield of Polanco, McCutchen, and Marte is going to be pretty exciting and them hitting 1,2,3 is going to be incredible with their hitting, power, and speed.

        • Seriously.

          Imagine If Polanco AND Hanson work out. You could easily see a top of the order featuring Hanson Polanco Cutch Marte setting the table for Pedro Walker Sanchez and whoever ends up at 1b (maybe Bell??). What a nightmare that will be for opposing pitchers, defenses and catchers.

          And the outfield defense is even more exciting: we’ll have three centerfield gloves and two right field arms in one outfield.

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