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Jorge Polanco

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#1 gunnarthor

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 12:38 PM

He was the third international signee in 2009 to go with Sano and Kepler. Not at their level but he could be a sleeper guy for us. He's mostly a second baseman at Cedar Rapids but will also DH and play short. He's a switch hitter. The season is young but so far Polanco is hitting .265/.306/.412 with 2ks and 2 BBs.

Sickels listed him as a sleeper prospect to watch.

#2 TRex

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:03 AM

I missed out on Jorge Polanco for 2013, but it seems a waste to not at least have last year's analysis.

Hope you don't mind, gunnarthor!
[h=2]Jorge Polanco: SS International signing '09 (DOB7/5/93)[/h]

Born: July 5, 1993 – San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic

Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Height: 5’11"
Weight: 165

Drafted as a SS in the 2009 International class for $700,000 out of the DR by Fred Guerrero.

Pro Stats:
2010: Twins DSL 18G / 60AB / .250/.309/.283 1SB/3CS
GCL - 34G | 103 AB | .223/.299/.301 | 2SB/4CS
2011: GCL - 51G | 172 AB | .250/.319/.349 | 6SB/4CS
2012: E-ton AppL – 40G / 138 AB / .319/.390/.522


ANALYSIS
Pre-2012: When drafted in 2009 at the age of 16 for $700,000, Polanco was the epitome of a Latin American middle infielder. Hailing from the ‘cradle of shortstops’ (San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic), he debuted in the US on the day after his 17th birthday and was the Twins #17 prospect in the 2011 BA Prospect Handbook based on the strength of his ‘top-shelf defensive tools at shortstop, with his actions, range, hands and arm strength all rating above average’. His offense, however, was best described by the old Dominican adage that ‘you can’t walk off the island’! Polanco is a switch hitter with excellent contact skills, and had one of the lowest strikeout rates in his first year in the GCL (2010). That is pretty faint praise, and he returned to the GCL in 2011. His second trip around the circuit also yielded pretty pedestrian numbers (.250/.319/.349) and, even in a very down year for Twins prospects, he dropped to #28 in the 2012 BA Prospect handbook. While BA still lauded his defensive work, they indicated he ‘lacks the strength to repeat his swing or defensive actions over the grind of everyday play’. His career appeared to be stalling out except, as pointed out in Seth’s handbook, in “the last month of the year, he improved to .284/.348/.407 in 81 at-bats”. The BA piece concluded with ‘The Twins think they’ll have a player if Polanco gains strength’. Perhaps the Twins weren’t taking a huge leap of faith thinking an 18 year old from the DR might continue to gain strength, but even they must have been surprised at Polanco’s offensive transformation in 2012.

2012: Even though he was still only 18 years old, Polanco started his third season in Rookie ball (albeit at Elizabethton). While there were pleasant signs of an improving offensive game (.323 average), a familiar theme was that he had only 1 walk and 2 strikeouts in 31 ABs. Then, as though he flipped a switch on his 19th birthday, Jorge started taking a bigger swing (20 SO in 105 AB) and has developed into an offensive FORCE. After having only 2 HR in his first 400 ABs, he has had 4 in his last 70! He currently is sporting a triple-slash line of .319/.390/.522 (ranking in the top-10 in all three categories) and was even named the Appy league player of the week for 7/16! Finally, this offensive explosion does not appear to have come at the cost of his excellent control of the strike zone, as his strikeout rate is still below 1 in 6 AB, and he has managed to keep his walk rate at ~10% despite a 70 point jump in BA.

I am amazed that, with all the clamoring by Twins fans about the sad state of minor league middle infielders, Polanco is not mentioned more. He is a true shortstop and was the youngest position player at Elizabethton until Buxton arrived. If he keeps up this level of production, he should crack everyone’s top-20, and is already in my top-10. I can’t wait to read what others (including BA and Seth) have to say about Polanco’s development. It’s always nice to see prospects turning ‘tools’ into ‘skills’!


#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:25 AM

Not a problem. If you want to take Polanco over I can easily grab someone else or trade whoever you have this year.

#4 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:46 AM

I hope Polanco stays at SS.

We have Rosario and others coming up who could play 2B. With Polance, Danny Santana & Niko we could find a real solution to SS that we've been missing.

#5 TRex

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 12:36 PM

Thanks for the offer, gunnathor, but this may actually work out better. This way we get a fresh analysis rather than just a re-tool!

#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 01:31 PM

From my 4 days in Cedar Rapids, I made several tweets about prospects at the end of my trip... I said that the player that surprised me the most was Jorge Polanco. And in a good way. He's primarily playing 2B for the Kernels. I was told he'll get some time at SS as well, and he has also DHd some. The glove was very good. Good range. Good speed. However, his bat shocked me. Now, I know he's down to .265 (I believe) now, but he takes good at bats and hits the ball with authority. The league will likely adjust and we'll see how he does, but from a tools standpoint, and now that he's grown, he's certainly got a chance! I think I had him in the bottom part of my top 20... but I'll certainly be moving him up.

#7 cmathewson

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 01:39 PM

From my 4 days in Cedar Rapids, I made several tweets about prospects at the end of my trip... I said that the player that surprised me the most was Jorge Polanco. And in a good way. He's primarily playing 2B for the Kernels. I was told he'll get some time at SS as well, and he has also DHd some. The glove was very good. Good range. Good speed. However, his bat shocked me. Now, I know he's down to .265 (I believe) now, but he takes good at bats and hits the ball with authority. The league will likely adjust and we'll see how he does, but from a tools standpoint, and now that he's grown, he's certainly got a chance! I think I had him in the bottom part of my top 20... but I'll certainly be moving him up.


I think it's back up 'cause he went 4-6 in last night's double header. When his bat woke up at E-Town last year, I was very pleasantly surprised. I'm so glad he's continuing that trend. I just wish they put him at short full time. But with Goodrum there, he's kind of blocked.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 12:28 AM

There is some thought that Goodrum will continue to grow and eventually move over to third base. There is little reason for him to do that at this point with Sano and Harrison working over there. He does a good job at shortstop. But my point in talking about Goodrum is that it says to me that Polanco should definitely continue to be getting time at shorstop because 1.) we don't know if Danny Santana will become what I (and some with the Twins) think he can become, and 2.) Goodrum could switch positions.

#9 gunnarthor

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 08:39 AM

I suppose we'll do an update here. Through 19 games the switch hitting Polanco is hitting a pretty darn good .312/.341/.455 while mostly hitting 3rd in Cedar Rapids. (He's hitting lefties a lot better but the sample size is so small it's not really worth discussing yet). All but one of his games have come at second base (not counting his DH days). He's basically playing about as well as you good reasonably expect from a sleeper prospect and still be considered part of the Twins future. He's a solid part of the low A team. If you wanted to concern yourself, you'd note that he's walking in less than 5% of his PA which might suggest plate discipline issues down the road as he moves up the ladder. But it's a bit early to worry about that. I still don't think he's a top 10 prospect for us but he's an interesting one to watch. He might end up being the second baseman of the future if Rosario fails.

#10 kab21

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 11:54 AM

Polanco doesn't walk for the same reason that Revere couldn't walk. It wasn't necessarily bad plate discipline but rather that he hit the ball instead of swinging through the ball. He potentially has more pop though.

#11 SD Buhr

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:06 PM

According to a Tweet from Mike Berardino of the Pionner Press, Jorge has been named the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. He's been on a roll for Cedar Rapids lately.

Covering the Cedar Rapids Kernels for
MetroSportsReport.comwhile my alter-ego, Jim Crikket, opines about the Twins and Kernels at Knuckleballsblog.com.

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#12 SD Buhr

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:45 PM

Polanco had a BIG 2-out bases loaded triple today for the Kernels. CR was down 4-1 at the time and his triple tied the game at 4-4. Kernels went on to win 6-4.

It was an afternoon game with a lot of kids groups in the crowd. One of them greeted Polanco's appearances at the plate with "Hip Hip Jorge!" chants. Gotta love it.

Covering the Cedar Rapids Kernels for
MetroSportsReport.comwhile my alter-ego, Jim Crikket, opines about the Twins and Kernels at Knuckleballsblog.com.

~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~

#13 goulik

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:47 PM

My wife was the one yelling "George" just to annoy me... Jorge Had some nice range on a couple of late inning put outs but also did not get to a couple of singles earlier in the game... Can't get em all!

#14 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 07:21 AM

Twins prospect Jorge Polanco drafted No. 3 for winter league - TwinCities.com

According to Mike Berardino, Jorge Polanco was drafted with the third overall pick in the Dominican Winter League draft. Aderlin Mejia was taken in the third round.

#15 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 10:38 AM

Jorge Polanco for 2013 @ low A ball as a 19 year old: .308/.362/.452 (.814).

Those on the team who had a higher OPS:
Player Age OPS
Byron Buxton 19 .990
Adam Walker 21 .844
J.D.Williams 22 .852
Dalton Hicks 23 .850


Jorge played 57 games at 2B, 49 games at SS and 10 games as DH.

I'm impressed!



#16 Han Joelo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 10:54 AM

Rosario has been so "overlooked" that it's impossible not to notice him. He has basked in Sano's limelight (deservedly, IMO). Polanco was signed the same year as Sano and been truly overshadowed.
How is he at SS? I'm hoping he's so solid they've chosen to give more reps to Goodrum.

#17 Shane Wahl

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 01:08 PM

Yeah, I want to actually get a better understanding of the SS/2B situation as it pertains, to Beresford and Polanco on the one hand, and Santana and Goodrum on the other. Isn't it true that the first two are better shortstops? Yet they play second most of the time while the latter two stay at short.

Polanco is very good and is the best at his position after Rosario, or the best SS.

#18 cmathewson

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 02:49 PM

Yeah, I want to actually get a better understanding of the SS/2B situation as it pertains, to Beresford and Polanco on the one hand, and Santana and Goodrum on the other. Isn't it true that the first two are better shortstops? Yet they play second most of the time while the latter two stay at short.

Polanco is very good and is the best at his position after Rosario, or the best SS.


I'd say they keep Santana and Goodrum at short because they have more tools and the game is easier in many ways at short than at second because you have all the plays in front of you. But Polanco is a better SS than either right now, and he's only 19. I don't think Goodrum will stay in the infield. Santana just needs to be more consistent and he could be the next Pedro Florimon. Meh. Polanco has the best chance of any of them to be a regular major league shortstop.
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#19 maxisagod

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 05:28 PM

I saw Polanco play twice this year at short. Though he had good range for the position his arm looked weak. Not out of place weak, more like Dozier weak. I think both Goodrum and Polanco split SS again next year if they both get promoted to Fort Myers.

#20 Nick Nelson

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 06:03 PM

From what I've heard, it sounds unlikely Polanco will stick at short. Still, his bat looks awfully promising at second. 47 extra-base hits from a skinny 19-year-old in the challenging Midwest League, with very good plate discipline. Fantastic.

Suddenly it looks like the Twins are stockpiling quality 2B prospects. How the times have changed...

#21 Oxtung

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:37 PM

Just to 2nd Mr. Nelson's words, Polanco and Goodrum didn't split reps at SS. Polanco got almost all his playing time at SS when Goodrum got hurt during the second half of the season. The number of games Polanco started at SS and Goodrum at 2B were in the single digits.

#22 Seth Stohs

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:32 PM

Yeah, when Polanco and Goodrum were both healthy, I don't think Polanco played SS more than a handful of times. I don't think Polanco will be able to play SS. I think he'll stay at 2B. I think he can play SS, but the arm is the thing that makes me question it.

Love his bat. And, he's not just a skinny kid any more. He's got a great eye at the plate, a great approach. And, he's got some real pop in his bat. I think he's an impressive player.