There was some hope that Gregory Polanco would have a breakout year entering the 2016 season. The right fielder had a .276/.324/.425 line in the second half last year, with a .324 wOBA and a 108 wRC+, and all of those numbers were down due to a poor September. The September numbers were down in part due to some bad BABIP luck, and in part due to a minor injury for Polanco. Overall, the second half was encouraging due to consistent hard contact, and much better results than the first half numbers (.285 wOBA, 81 wRC+).

There was also a question of whether the Pirates would extend their young outfielder before this breakout occurred, as the first year and a half of his career were filled with talks about extension offers, even dating back to before he made his MLB debut. That question was finally answered during the first week of the season, when the Pirates signed Polanco to a five-year, $35 M extension, with two option years, beginning in 2017. The maximum contract would be seven years and $61 M if all options are exercised and all performance bonuses are met. That would also buy out the first three years of Polanco's free agency.

With Polanco under contract, the only question remaining was whether he would see that breakout. At the start of the year, it looked like he was on his way. During the first month of the season, he had a .302/.404/.500 line, along with a .383 wOBA and a 142 wRC+. He was making similar hard contact that he was the previous July and August, at 34.2%. The massive results carried over into May, with a .317/.369/.604 line, a .398 wOBA, a 153 wRC+, and 36.8% hard contact. But the breakout stalled at that point.

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