Breakout Candidate: Gregory Polanco

 

Nicknamed “El Coffee”, Gregory Polanco will be entering his second full season in 2016. The big Dominican made some strides last season and will hope to build upon his strong second half.

Polanco hit .256 with 9 homers, 83 runs, 52 RBIs, and 27 stolen bases. He had a rough first half hitting .237 with a .289 BABIP. With a .100 ISO, Polanco only managed 3 home runs. The second half was much better as Polanco batted .276 with a .326 BABIP and an ISO of .150 to go with his six home runs.

The second half saw his strikeout percentage stay consistent with his walk percentage decreasing. Polanco swung at more pitches especially against lefties. He made more swings at pitches outside of the plate and made the same amount of contact as before. Polanco’s changed approach resulted in more flyballs and less groundballs, paving the way for more home runs. He spread the ball out more to the center of the field.

Polanco has struggled against left handed pitching throughout his major league career. His minor league track record indicates he should bat better. His final AAA season saw Polanco hit .329 against southpaws. He won’t be hitting that high, but based on his minor league success, he should hit better than .190.

Polanco’s game should continue growing as he continues to make adjustments. Polanco has lots of speed and could reach as many as 35 stolen bases. With his HR/FB likely increasing, 15 home runs aren’t out of the question. If he can figure out lefties, Polanco could be in for a very good season. Polanco’s a breakout candidate who should continue to refine his game.

 

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