CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Painting the Black: Re... (05/27)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (05/19)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (06/02)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Wil... (05/28)

May 27, 2014

Monday Morning Ten Pack

May 27, 2014

by BP Prospect Staff


The Monday Morning Ten Pack is brought to you by Sidsgraphs.com. SidsGraphs specializes in memorabilia and game-used items from baseball's top prospects! Visit Sidsgraphs.com today or visit their retail store in the south suburbs of Chicago.

***

Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis)
No prospect has more hype around his impending callup than Polanco. The Pirates have defended themselves against accusations of service-time manipulation by saying Polanco hasn’t met on-the-field developmental checkpoints. After viewing Polanco in a two-game sample, it is quite clear that the Pirates’ concern about his major-league preparedness has some foundation in reality. In right field, Polanco showed major rawness in his footwork, tripping over himself multiple times pursuing balls in the gap, and showing improper fundamentals charging grounders, raising up too soon and trying to throw before he received the ball. At the plate, he showed both the good and the bad, displaying the loud contact he is known for but also an extremely fastball-heavy approach that is susceptible to off-speed pitches. The raw tools are certainly there for Polanco, but additional polish is needed in order to make him a consistent threat at the major-league level. –Ethan Purser

Albert Almora, CF, Cubs (High-A Daytona)
After taking in Daytona's series against Bradenton, I came away impressed with Almora—even though he didn't rake like he has lately, there was still plenty to like. At the plate he's patiently aggressive: Almora knows where he wants the ball and when he sees a pitch in his zone he lets his bat eat. The bat speed is above-average and his swing gets into the zone quickly and stays level. There aren’t a lot of moving parts before the swing. His stance is open and sports excellent balance. His hands and head are very quiet throughout the entire swing. His pitch recognition skills are advanced. This kid is able to recognize spin quickly, which allows him to make some very nice in-bat adjustments. Throughout the entire series he only had one bad at-bat, which came against another top prospect, Tyler Glasnow. Almora chased three elevated fastballs at the letters or higher—pitches he had no shot at catching up to. It was rare to see him get that aggressive at pitches out of his zone.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

12 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

MaineSkin

Is Polanco better than the other Pirates RF options? I don't think anyone thought he was a refined product, but per other accounts and recent Pirates show he will do just fine developing the rest of his career at the ML Lvl. The defense aside, how does Polanco learn to change his approach while hitting .380 at AAA?

May 27, 2014 11:26 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ethan Purser
BP staff

In this particular write-up, I was merely addressing the developmental concerns that the Pirates' FO has used in defense of his continued time in the minors, no more or less. He is certainly better than the other options at the major-league level in the long-term, sure. The concern I have is that his approach will be exploited once the book is written on him. As you note, it's hard to change the approach when he's raking in AAA, but one would hope that player development has noticed this trend and is working on it with him while he's still in an environment that is conducive to development rather than the bright lights of the big leagues. There's also the issue of fielding, which was covered above. The developmental concerns that have been cited aren't just fluff—they're legitimate. That was the main point of the write-up.

May 27, 2014 12:35 PM
 
Brian Kopec

I had the good fortune to attend a Bucco game the other day. Wanted to add that I saw McCutchen chase a pair of off-speed pitches. Also he got a late break on a bloop single that fell right in front of him.

How can the Pirates allow such a flawed player to grace their MLB lineup? Clearly McCutchen could use some time in AAA to perfect the overall package.

While he does so, perhaps Travis Snider play CF?

May 27, 2014 11:55 AM
rating: -3
 
BP staff member Ethan Purser
BP staff

Mighty impressive straw man, Brian.

May 27, 2014 12:43 PM
 
dREaDS Fan

Re Polanco & "trying to throw before he received the ball" - is this a troll?

May 27, 2014 16:04 PM
rating: -2
 
buckb2
(935)

Not to mention "tripping over himself multiple times." Contrary to what we may have read elsewhere, Mr. Polanco is apparently an oafish buffoon.

May 27, 2014 21:33 PM
rating: -2
 
evo34

Any update on Addison Russell's health (out for last 7 weeks with hamstring injury)?

May 27, 2014 19:24 PM
rating: 1
 
Behemoth

Seriously, people are getting upset because a report said that a prospect was less than perfect and there are still some development needs there?

May 28, 2014 03:46 AM
rating: 1
 
buckb2
(935)

Well, "trying to throw before he received the ball" and "tripping over himself multiple times" in a two game series, are quite a bit down the line on the less-than-perfect scale. I mean, if he'd added "on one batted ball, he mistakenly ran to third base instead of first", I'd swear he'd been scouting my kid's tee-ball game. Just saying it was a bit shocking to see that kind of write-up on a legitimate prospect, much less a top-20 guy.

May 28, 2014 18:02 PM
rating: 1
 
Brian Kopec

Nobody is saying that Polanco has reached the absolute apex of his skill curve. I think what people are trying to say (myself included) is that it is a ridiculous policy to wait until a prospect is perfect to bring him aboard the big club. Nobody expects that Polanco will not develop further at the big league level. Nobody expects that he won't have the sort of struggles and have to make adjustments that all rookie players do. But Polanco is clearly at a point where it is time to test his skills at the highest level and the only thing keeping him from doing so is financial consideration. He may even fail at first at the big league level and that's fine... but for the Pirate organization (and thin skinned prospect writers who missed the point) to pretend that Polanco doesn't yet deserve a call up gets annoying when you are stuck watching the feeble Pirate offense night after night.

May 29, 2014 05:40 AM
rating: 0
 
Softy Electric

Jordan, did you watch Reyes at Kane County on Sunday or was this a previous start? I was at that game against the Cougars and thought he looked awful; I was really disappointed in that performance. But I know nothing about discerning talent at such a low level; I just started going to Kane County games regularly. If it was the same game we saw, it's interesting to me how my experience of his performance on a complete amateur / fan level was so different from you with a professional eye.

Definitely agree about the weight; I was thinking even more than 20 pounds.

Great writeups, guys. Love the work.

May 28, 2014 11:50 AM
rating: 0
 
MaineSkin

Per Alvarez, pickup up Knebles spin is a ML task.

May 30, 2014 07:19 AM
rating: 0
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Painting the Black: Re... (05/27)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (05/19)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (06/02)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Wil... (05/28)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week Four
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Done Zo
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Jimmy Nelson
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of April 24-26, 2...
Pebble Hunting: Scott Boras Has The World's ...
Premium Article Rubbing Mud: The Worst Holes On Contenders
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: April 27, 2015

MORE FROM MAY 27, 2014
Premium Article Perfect Game Presents: 2014 MLB Mock Draft, ...
This is Not Your Father's Baseball Road Trip...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of May 23-26
The Week in Quotes: May 19-26
Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: The U25 Top 150, Part Thre...
Fantasy Article Interleague Report: Week Nine
Daily League Strategy: Get Your Phil

MORE BY BP PROSPECT STAFF
2014-06-11 - Eyewitness Accounts: June 11, 2014
2014-06-09 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: June 9, 2014
2014-06-02 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: June 2, 2014
2014-05-27 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: May 27, 2014
2014-05-22 - Premium Article Draft Ten Pack: Whom Would You Draft, Part 3
2014-05-21 - Eyewitness Accounts: May 21, 2014
2014-05-20 - Premium Article Notes from the Field: May 20, 2014
More...

MORE MONDAY MORNING TEN PACK
2014-06-16 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: June 16, 2014
2014-06-09 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: June 9, 2014
2014-06-02 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: June 2, 2014
2014-05-27 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: May 27, 2014
2014-05-19 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: May 19, 2014
2014-05-12 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: May 12, 2014
2014-05-05 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: May 5, 2014
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2014-06-04 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Profiling Alex Reyes