Bullish or Bearish – Gregory Polanco
Gregory Polanco didn’t make the splash upon his arrival into the league the way guys like Mike Trout, Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, or even Cody Bellinger did in their debuts. Despite comparable fanfare upon his promotion, Polanco has developed more gradually, not fully delivering on once great promise. Nevertheless, getting good at baseball can take a long time and people forget that players all develop differently.
Fresh of a second-half let down to what began looking like a 2017 breakout, people are probably losing faith in him in his fourth year. But at 25, it’s still early. When a prospect doesn’t pop right away, it takes some investigating to figure out what to expect. It can still be speculative, but numbers guide intelligent conclusions and Polanco has left a trail of projectability in his numbers.
At the base of it all is someone who has illustrated 20/20 skills, which is a rare combination that gives him plenty of upside. His career walk rate of 9.0% is already excellent and provides great stability for cash games, and at 10.6% so far in 2017, he’s setting the floor even higher. With 6 steals in 7 attempts on the year, his speed game has been on point. While only 1 homerun may scare you, it’s important to note that power is the statistic that takes the longest to stabilize. In other words, until the season is over, it’s inaccurate to say his power is a concern.
In his first three years, Polanco improved his hard hit % more than 5% in 2015 and again in 2016 to a career high 35.7%. While his hard hit % is sitting at an unimpressive 20.9% this year, the three year improvement trend established over 1,551 Plate appearances is a much more reliable sample than the 124 PAs he’s had in 2017, so he may be a tweak or two to his swing away from hitting stride.
I’m BULLISH on Gregory Polanco as a stable cash game play and I’m willing to play him in GPP for the right price.
Have a question about some of the stats mentioned here? This article can help.
NOTE – Polanco was placed on the DL, but we expect him to continue his upward trend when he returns.
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