The Florida State League recognized a pair of Pittsburgh Pirates prospects on Monday. Outfielder Shalin Polanco has been named as the Florida State League Player of the Week. Pitcher Alessandro Ercolani has been named as the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week.
The 19-year-old Polanco batted .455/.539/.909 over 26 plate appearances last week, with seven runs, four doubles, two homers, six RBIs and three stolen bases.
He is batting .258/.344/.495 for the season in 50 games, with 12 doubles, 11 homers and ten steals. He had a .622 OPS in the Dominican Summer League during the 2021 season, followed by a .696 OPS in the Florida Complex League last year.
Ercolani picked up his award by going five shutout innings on Friday, with one hit, two walks and four strikeouts. He struck out a career high nine batters in his prior start. This was the longest shutout performance of his career, though he did have a start earlier in the year with two unearned runs over five innings.
While the 19-year-old from San Marino was struggling this year before his last game, he has shown some progress with his pitches. He came into that game last week with a 5.35 ERA in 35.1 innings, with a .302 BAA and 35 strikeouts.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.