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Twins to hire John Manuel

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:37 AM
Didn't see that coming.
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Gardy being considered to manage the Red Sox

Other Baseball Today, 05:35 AM
https://www.cbssport...draws-interest/   "Now, as the postseason continues with the LCS round, the Red Sox are moving forward with t...
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Article: Diving Into The Offseason: A Buxton Extension?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:26 AM
Last week, I considered what a potential long-term extension might look like for All Star Brian Dozier. Today, I want to do a little digg...
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IMO, this is why you acquire SP from outside

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:01 AM
I keep reading that a team shouldn't sign FA pitchers, because they don't always work out. Or, that a team shouldn't trade "real" prospec...
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Article: Supplementing the Twins: Lance Lynn

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:01 AM
The Minnesota Twins are now well underway into creating their offseason blueprint. Coming off a season in which the greatest turnaround i...
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2017 Twins Player Predictions: Jorge Polanco

When people talked about the Minnesota Twins top prospects in recent years, the names Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Jose Berrios. All the while, Jorge Polanco continued to rise and succeed (and often found his name in the bottom quarter of national Top 100 prospect rankings). In fact, he was the first of the group to get to the big leagues when he was promoted to the big leagues from Ft. Myers in 2014.

That was a cup of coffee, and the same thing happened in 2015. It wasn’t until Eduardo Nunez was traded in July that Polanco came up and was handed the keys to a starting job. After coming through the system playing both shortstop and second base, his struggles at shortstop caused the team to move him to second base last year in spring training. However, his opportunity with the Twins came at shortstop. He struggled, so that will be a big story for Polanco and the Twins in 2017.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
Offensively, Polanco has been very consistent as he’s moved up the organizational ladder. In 132 games in AA, he hit .287/.340/.380 (.719). In 97 AAA games, he hit .278/.329/.433 (.762). So far in 78 big league games, he has hit .284/.340/.429 (.769).

Polanco is now out of options. The shortstop job is his. Will he run with it? Can he take the next step and put it all together offensively and defensively?

Below you will find my predictions (or guesses, if you prefer) for Jorge Polanco’s 2017 season. Consider posting your thoughts and your predictions into the comments below. It’s always fun to take a look at the end of the season and see how our predictions look.


KEY NUMBERS

(-9.3) - That is Jorge Polanco’s defensive WAR according to FanGraphs. And that was in just 69 total games. His UZR/150 came in at (-32.3). Those are the numbers that Polanco will need to overcome defensively. To expect him to be a plus defender probably isn’t fair. To hope that he can be an adequate, or even average, defender is fair.

0.857 - That is Polanco’s OPS against left-handed pitchers. Against right-handers, he posted a .718 OPS. He is a natural right-hander, but he’s had many more at bats left-handed in his career. There is more power right-handed.


PREDICTIONS

Jorge Polanco: 456 at-bats, .287/.333/.436 (.769), 23 doubles, 6 triples, 11 home runs.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of the starters shown so far, I have Polanco at the fewest games played. First, I think the defense will cause Molitor to want to give him more time off and allow Eduardo Escobar to get into the lineup. I have him playing 135 games.

When Polanco was signed, he was a skinny kid. He has grown a lot, topping 200 pounds within the last couple of years. He has developed some power. That’s not to say he’s a 20 homer hitter, but he can certainly hit the teens in homers with more at bats. He’s got good speed to turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples.

In the second half last season, Polanco hit all over the lineup. Most of his at bats came in the #2 spot in the lineup. That is a good spot for him. However, I would guess we’ll see him all over the lineup, near the top or the bottom from day-to-day.

YOUR TURN

Your turn. Share your thoughts on and predictions on Jorge Polanco in 2017. We can take a look back at the end of the season and see how we did.


PREVIOUS PREDICTIONS

Jason Castro
Joe Mauer
Brian Dozier
Miguel Sano
Jorge Polanco

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19 Comments

I would say his consistency from beginning to MLB is amazing so why stray from what he has been doing.  I say that he hits the same as last year, but with more at bats he gets a few more home runs.  Hopefully the one thing that changes is his fielding and I think it will improve but remain below replacement.

    • Oldgoat_MN, bluechipper and Deduno Abides like this

I honestly don't see how the Twins could sit a shortstop who's batting .280.  With the atrocious pitching, they'll need their best bats in the lineup as often as possible.  I see Polanco playing 150 games, regardless of his defense.  Along with Buxton and Sano, he's one of the players I'm most excited about watching this year.  While there's always a chance of the Danny Santana-style "sophomore slump", I have high hopes for this kid.  I'd like to see him steal more bases. 

    • Oldgoat_MN and hybridbear like this

Only 47 qualified hitters hit .287 or higher last year. I'd be thrilled if Polanco was in that group, and played decent enough SS.

    • Sconnie and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this
Agree with the numbers overall, but I think there is enough pop there, alongbwith speed, to see his doubles in the high 20's.

 

PREDICTIONS

Jorge Polanco: 456 at-bats, .287/.333/.436 (.769), 23 doubles, 6 triples, 11 home runs.
 

 

.270 - .290 / .320 - .340 / .420 - .450

15 HR, 29 2B, 6 3B

it would be a shame if we sat Polanco because he was below average at SS.

He should be at 2B
I wouldn't mind seeing him DH a little bit. With Park being sent down and Vargas hurt he could get some at bats there and let Escobar play short. This would help on days when Gibson is pitching.

I'm very excited about Polanco's future. He is going to be a cornerstone of some good Twins years coming up, once they manage to turnover the pitching staff.

    • bighat likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 31 2017 09:28 AM

Polanco is my sleeper guy on this year's roster. He's quietly been a good player for quite some time now and I expect him to transition to MLB better than other prospects have in recent years.

 

I'd be happy with a .730 OPS and thrilled with a .770 OPS.

    • bluechipper, Doomtints and bighat like this

He has to do better than his age 22 season .282/.332/.424 in 2016 and .284/.340/.429MLB total.

I am looking at .300/.365/.450 with 15 HR, 30 2B, and 15 SB or so, in a full season.

.270/.335/.410  with below average defense, which makes the left side of the infield, with Sano at 3rd, a mess defensively.

Photo
bluechipper
Mar 31 2017 10:02 AM

I wouldn't mind seeing him DH a little bit. With Park being sent down and Vargas hurt he could get some at bats there and let Escobar play short. This would help on days when Gibson is pitching.

I might prefer Sano having the occasional DH day with Escobar filling in at 3B.
    • hybridbear likes this
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LA VIkes Fan
Mar 31 2017 10:04 AM

.275/.320/.435 (.755), 15 doubles, 2 triples, 10 HRs. Improves to average defensively and starts the entire year at SS. Why the entire year? Because, let's face it, we got nobody else. 

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bluechipper
Mar 31 2017 10:06 AM
Polanco has been my favorite prospect to read about over the past few years, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in a full season. I could see him having multiple .300 hitting seasons in his career.
    • Doomtints likes this

 

I might prefer Sano having the occasional DH day with Escobar filling in at 3B.

Or if Sano is your DH do you put Polanco at 3B and Escobar at SS?

.275/.320/.435 (.755), 15 doubles, 2 triples, 10 HRs. Improves to average defensively and starts the entire year at SS. Why the entire year? Because, let's face it, we got nobody else.


If he improves to average defensively at SS then we don't need anyone else.
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LA VIkes Fan
Apr 01 2017 09:28 AM

Agreed. I hope it happens.

 

If he improves to average defensively at SS then we don't need anyone else.

Amen to that.

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specialiststeve
Apr 01 2017 06:19 PM

 

I honestly don't see how the Twins could sit a shortstop who's batting .280.  With the atrocious pitching, they'll need their best bats in the lineup as often as possible.  I see Polanco playing 150 games, regardless of his defense.  Along with Buxton and Sano, he's one of the players I'm most excited about watching this year.  While there's always a chance of the Danny Santana-style "sophomore slump", I have high hopes for this kid.  I'd like to see him steal more bases. 

 

that is the whole point.... The pitching NEEDS good defense behind it to be good pitching.

 

 If he can be league average I would be happy.... and stunned.

 

He did work with David Eckstein who was a weenie armed guy that was able to make it work so hopefully hewillbe able to get it done.  

 


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