Pittsburgh Pirates: Gregory Polanco is the Player to Watch on the Buccos
The Pittsburgh Pirates are starting from square one and it makes sense, but if you think about attending a baseball game at PNC Park this summer you have to watch Gregory Polanco.
The outfielder is the last of a trio that consisted of Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen, who is now in Arizona and Philadelphia, respectively.
With a new GM and manager, the Pirates are trying to build a contender with their minor league system and young players on the big leagues’ roster.
So, where do we begin?
The Buccos are in a division where they will most likely finish in last place. It makes sense.
However, a big focus needs to be on making sure Gregory Polanco can develop into that franchise player who will stick around for a long time.
We’ve seen Pittsburgh grow young players in the past and end up trading them. It was a constant because paying those guys wasn’t a priority.
The Pirates could think about trading Josh Bell since he is a Scott Boras client and we all know clients under his watch end up getting a huge deal that hardly ever benefits the team.
Why watch Polanco?
The 28-year old has been in the bigs for six years and absolutely needs to show he can be healthy as well as lead a team with consistent play.
Polanco posted good numbers in 2018 and 2016, where he collected 23 homers, 81 ribbies, and 22 homers, 86 ribbies, respectively.
The man known as El Coffee is signed through 2021 and should have a chip on his shoulder either because he’s still on a team that is going nowhere or because there might be doubters about his play.
I would expect him to bat more in the middle of the order instead of the top. I just feel like it makes sense for Derek Shelton to roll with Adam Frazier or since he got leadoff experience last year or he may give someones else a chance to bat in that spot.
Polanco can be an All-Star and whether he can be that spark the Pirates need or not it’s important for him to jumpstart an offense that can go through a lot of tough moments during a season.
Who else should we keep our eyes on?
Obviously, Bell moves the needle, but I wonder how much longer he’ll remain in the Steel City.
The 27-year old is scheduled to make $4.8 million this season and will go through arbitration the next two offseasons, before hitting the open market in 2023.
Bell launched 37 homers and 116 ribbies for the Bucs, which were among the league leaders in those categories. He also was an All-Star in 2019.
Another notable player is starting pitcher Joe Musgrove who led the Pirates in strikeouts, innings, wins, and ERA. The former Astro has playoff experience and has pitched in the bullpen as well as the rotation.
What do you make of Gregory Polanco and the Pittsburgh Pirates this season? Leave your comment below.
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