Gregory Polanco
Gregory Polanco
27-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Pittsburgh Pirates
10-Day IL
Injury Shoulder
Est. Return 4/24/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Polanco had a solid offensive season overall, filled with some ups and downs and ending with a shoulder injury that required major surgery in mid-September. There were three months in which he hit below .235 and three months in which he hit over .300, including .409 in September before going down with his injury. Some will point to the fact that 19 of Polanco's 23 home runs came off righties as a data point that Polanco cannot hit lefties, but ignore them. His overall numbers against lefties have actually been slightly above the league average in two of the past three seasons. Lefties limit him, but they do not complete neuter him. Polanco changed his swing last season to get more loft on the ball, which led to an increase in his strikeout rate (21.9%), but he also nearly doubled his walk rate (11.4%). While he will miss the start of the year, Polanco said he expects to return before June. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a five-year, $35 million contract extension with the Pirates in April of 2016.
Three games into Triple-A rehab
OFPittsburgh Pirates
Shoulder
April 18, 2019
Polanco (shoulder) has appeared in three games since moving his rehab assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis last week, going 4-for-12 with two walks, four RBI and two steals in those contests.
ANALYSIS
Polanco has played all nine innings in right field in two of those contests while serving as a designated hitter in the other. According to Nubyjas Wilborn of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Polanco is scheduled to play another nine innings in the field Thursday, with a return from the 10-day injured list perhaps coming soon thereafter.
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+16%
OPS vs RHP
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
+12%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+25%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .694 239 20 4 25 2 .241 .310 .384
Since 2017vs Right .803 703 94 30 91 18 .256 .330 .473
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .771 142 15 4 18 2 .248 .331 .440
2018vs Right .864 390 60 19 63 10 .256 .344 .521
2017vs Left .586 97 5 0 7 0 .231 .278 .308
2017vs Right .730 313 34 11 28 8 .257 .313 .417
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+8%
OPS at Home
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
+7%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+12%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .806 470 56 19 58 12 .257 .334 .472
Since 2017Away .744 472 58 15 58 8 .248 .316 .429
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home .870 257 37 12 36 8 .258 .354 .516
2018Away .811 275 38 11 45 4 .250 .327 .484
2017Home .733 213 19 7 22 4 .255 .310 .423
2017Away .655 197 20 4 13 4 .246 .299 .355
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Plenty of talented young players experience down years, but Polanco's decline in performance in his age-25 season is particularly difficult to explain. He battled hamstring issues throughout 2017, making three separate trips to the DL due to the hamstring, but those problems alone cannot fully account for a 25-point drop in wRC+ and 34-point drop in wOBA. Polanco did trim his strikeout rate to a career-low 14.6 percent (from 20.3 percent), but those contact gains were largely offset by a decline in walk rate (6.6 percent) and power (25.9 percent hard-hit rate, down from 35.7 percent). He also took a sizable step back against left-handed pitching (.231/.278/.308). Better health should help Polanco's production return to a more respectable level, but any thought of him ascending to star status in 2018 seems misguided given the injuries and lack of skill growth last season. Keep in mind that he's only had one above-average season to date.
Polanco seemingly played two totally different seasons in 2016. In 78 games through July 4, he batted .297/.374/.521 with 12 home runs, 50 RBI and nine steals in 330 plate appearances. Though he hit 10 homers with 36 RBI and eight steals in his final 257 plate appearances, he also wilted with a .220 clip and .682 OPS. His power output says there wasn't much of an issue, but injuries to his knee, shoulder, hamstring and face, via a collision with a wall, contributed to his uneven performance, and he has now suffered noteworthy swoons in each of his first three campaigns. At 25, he is still young enough to take another step forward, and his sizable increase in hard contact shows that he's squaring up pitches better. Unfortunately, his tall frame seems susceptible to injury. While the outfielder set career highs in home runs and RBI, his ceiling is even higher across the board -- but only if he can stay healthy and soften his dips in production.
There are few things Polanco can’t do on a baseball field — good or bad. For example, he finished second among NL outfielders in assists (13) but committed a league-high eight errors. Therein lies the rub with the 24-year-old. Which player is going to show up in 2016? He stole 27 bases in 37 attempts but his AB/HR rate dropped from 39.6 to 65.9. The outfielder gives fantasy owners flashes of his potential — he hit .339/.391/.521 from July 12 to Aug. 28, yet goes on stretches of futility — .148/.239/.222 from June 7 to July 5. Of course he’s entering only his second full season in the big league, so there’s plenty of room to grow — just expect a few bumps along the way.
Polanco proved to be the posterchild for fantasy caution with youth in 2014. After tearing up Triple-A to the tune of a .347/.405/.540 batting line in 274 plate appearances, Pittsburgh called up its super-prospect June 10. He started strong with an 11-game hit streak, but eventually fell off the table -- he hit .068 (3-for-44) from Aug. 13 to Sept. 13 -- and was benched in favor of Travis Snider in right field. Polanco offers a unique mix of speed and power, but will battle Snider for playing time again in 2015. In the long run, he represents the future in right but playing time (or even a roster spot) isn't guaranteed to begin 2015. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound outfielder remains a great pick in keeper leagues, though owners in single-season leagues will want watch his battle with Snider closely in spring training.
Polanco's estimated time of arrival is sometime in the summer of 2014, once the Super 2 arbitration deadline passes in June. Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a free agent, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound center fielder is blessed with a rare mix of speed and power. Polanco has averaged 25 steals in five minor-league seasons. He's also hit 28 homers in his last two years. The 22-year-old put together a .285/.356/.434 combined line between three levels -- High-A, Double-A and Triple-A -- in 2013. The left-handed hitting Polanco hit .366 against lefties last year and has always done well against southpaws, a rare commodity. Blessed with good plate discipline (52:73 K:BB ratio), the outfielder could impact fantasy teams as soon as June.
A breakout 2012 has put Polanco squarely on the map as one of Pittsburgh's top two offensive prospects, along with Alen Hanson. Plate discipline sets the center fielder apart from others. He compiled a 44:64 BB:K ratio in 437 at-bats for Low-A West Virginia. More remarkably, the left-handed hitter registered a 1.087 OPS against southpaws, better than his fine .850 mark versus righties. Polanco hit .325/.388/.522 with 16 homers and 40 stolen bases (in 55 attempts) as a 20-year-old. He suffered an ankle injury that forced him out of the lineup in late 2012, but he played winter ball and is expected to be 100-percent healthy for 2013. He'll likely start the season with High-A Bradenton, but could move up to Double-A Altoona by season's end.
More Fantasy News
Rehab moves to Triple-A
OFPittsburgh Pirates
Shoulder
April 12, 2019
Polanco (shoulder) will move his rehab stint up to Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Hitless in first game
OFPittsburgh Pirates
Shoulder
April 8, 2019
Polanco (shoulder) went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks in his first rehab appearance for High-A Bradenton on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Starting rehab assignment
OFPittsburgh Pirates
Shoulder
April 6, 2019
Polanco (shoulder) will begin his rehab assignment Sunday with High-A Bradenton, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
ANALYSIS
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Plays seven innings
OFPittsburgh Pirates
Shoulder
April 3, 2019
Polanco has progressed to playing seven innings in the field in extended spring training games, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Lands on IL
OFPittsburgh Pirates
Shoulder
March 28, 2019
Polanco (shoulder) was placed on the 10-day IL, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
ANALYSIS
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