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Is Jorge Polanco the current face of the Twins?


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All Polanco does is show up every day and play. Haven't checked but he has been out of few, if any, lineups this year is spite of Baldelli's constant tinkering. Game winning home run last night but has been very steady all year with .271 average and good defense unlike almost entire rest of the roster. Has been injury free for most, if not all, of his career. Just a solid, if not spectacular, MLB player. Given the shaky status of almost every other Twin, his longevity with the team, reliability and overall performance, Polanco is the face of this franchise until someone else actually shows up. Streetclothes Buxton? Sano? Kepler? I don't think so.

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1 hour ago, Number3 said:

has been very steady all year with .271 average

While I'm thrilled to see Polanco hitting, let's not forget just how awful he was for quite a long time. He opened 2021 with this performance:

Months
Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
April/March 23 23 97 87 12 18 4 0 1 10 2 1 6 15 .207 .268 .287 .555 25 0 2 0 2 0 2 .233 42 61
May 25 23 99 87 14 22 7 1 4 11 1 0 12 22 .253 .343 .494 .838 43 1 0 0 0 0 2 .295 109 133
June 23 23 103 93 18 27 6 0 4 10 3 2 8 10 .290 .350 .484 .833 45 0 1 0 1 0 0 .288 109 125
July 26 25 112 104 16 34 5 0 6 20 3 1 6 16 .327 .366 .548 .914 57 0 1 0 1 0 1 .337 128 144
August 2 2 9 9 2 2 0 0 2 4 0 0 0 1 .222 .222 .889 1.111 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 157 195
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/4/2021.

And that's after he posted the following line in 2020:

Season Totals
Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
2020 Totals 55 53 226 209 22 54 8 0 4 19 4 2 13 35 .258 .304 .354 .658 74 7 1 2 1 0 1 .292 100 79
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/4/2021.

And then he finished up 2019 this way:

Months
Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
April/March 26 25 113 100 15 32 7 3 5 10 0 1 11 18 .320 .389 .600 .989 60 1 1 0 1 0 1 .346 133 164
May 27 27 124 110 21 39 9 2 4 17 1 0 14 17 .355 .427 .582 1.009 64 1 0 0 0 1 2 .393 140 168
June 26 26 129 118 19 34 7 0 2 12 2 2 6 17 .288 .320 .398 .719 47 2 1 1 3 1 1 .314 72 89
July 23 23 110 100 11 23 6 0 5 13 1 0 8 20 .230 .291 .440 .731 44 4 1 0 1 0 4 .237 73 89
August 27 27 126 110 24 34 5 1 4 16 0 0 15 23 .309 .397 .482 .879 53 1 1 0 0 0 2 .361 111 128
Sept/Oct 24 22 102 93 17 24 6 1 2 11 0 0 6 21 .258 .297 .409 .706 38 2 0 1 2 0 0 .306 68 90
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/4/2021.

Again, super glad he's back and I hope his injury issues are behind him but he was a pretty bad baseball player for almost two full years.

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35 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Again, super glad he's back and I hope his injury issues are behind him but he was a pretty bad baseball player for almost two full years.

Those two full years only include about 7 baseball months.

And look at that sOPS+ column -- 89/90 isn't great but for middle infielder, it's not bad. If Simmons had an OPS+ like that in 2021, we probably would have gotten a decent prospect for him. Polanco's not great defensively so I'd call it a little below average from him.

So in 7 baseball months, by sOPS+, Polanco was great in 1 month, a little below average in 3, and further below average to bad in the remaining 3. Overall a little below average for that span -- Fangraphs says 88 wRC+, 2.0 WAR over those 7 months, 790 PA:

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2021&month=1000&season1=2019&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=13152&startdate=2019-06-01&enddate=2021-04-30

That actually seems somewhat encouraging if that's his selective endpoint / injury hobbled downside. (Bookended by 5 months and counting of outstanding hitting.)

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8 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

Those two full years only include about 7 baseball months.

And look at that sOPS+ column -- 89/90 isn't great but for middle infielder, it's not bad. If Simmons had an OPS+ like that in 2021, we probably would have gotten a decent prospect for him. Polanco's not great defensively so I'd call it a little below average from him.

So in 7 baseball months, by sOPS+, Polanco was great in 1 month, a little below average in 3, and further below average to bad in the remaining 3. Overall a little below average for that span -- Fangraphs says 88 wRC+, 2.0 WAR over those 7 months, 790 PA:

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2021&month=1000&season1=2019&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=13152&startdate=2019-06-01&enddate=2021-04-30

That actually seems somewhat encouraging if that's his selective endpoint / injury hobbled downside. (Bookended by 5 months and counting of outstanding hitting.)

It was only about seven baseball months but there were zero signs he was going to rebound in 2020 and he looked to have the same issues to start 2021. Whether the 2020 season was a week long or six months long, it appeared Polanco was going to be a pretty bad hitter.

And, as I said, I'm thrilled to see the early 2019 Polanco back but I'm not ready to declare him the model of consistency quite yet. We've seen a lot of ups and downs with him over the past three seasons, which was my overall point.

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2 hours ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

Having Polanco as the face of the Twins says more about the current state of the Twins then it does about Polanco.

In terms of performance, Polanco is about even with Torii Hunter through the same age (27). Also with Justin Morneau. Note that Polanco will add to this WAR total through the end of the season:

# Name Team G PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wRC+ WAR
 
1 Justin Morneau MIN 732 3011 9.1% 14.8% .217 .290 .281 .348 .498 117 11.3
2 Jorge Polanco MIN 595 2517 7.6% 16.1% .163 .309 .277 .335 .440 107 10.4
3 Torii Hunter MIN 691 2648 6.0% 18.7% .190 .296 .266 .316 .456 96 11.6

Of course, Torii's Twins teams also had a positive "face" of the pitching staff too, which the current team lacks.

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We should note that Polanco was in the lineup, for whatever reason, while obviously injured and this is likely because the Twins had nobody else to play. It was painful to watch Jorge spin as he swung in deference to the ankle but the Twins did not shut him down as has happened with so many other players; I don't believe he was just being tough but left the decisions to the manager. It is difficult to say what options the Twins viewed. Perhaps in retrospect Ehire Adrianza should have been the regular with Polanco put on the IL, but it sure wasn't clear to me that management thought about sitting down Polanco in 2019 and 2020. It is really good to see Polanco looking good again.

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47 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

In terms of performance, Polanco is about even with Torii Hunter through the same age (27). Also with Justin Morneau. Note that Polanco will add to this WAR total through the end of the season:

# Name Team G PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wRC+ WAR
 
1 Justin Morneau MIN 732 3011 9.1% 14.8% .217 .290 .281 .348 .498 117 11.3
2 Jorge Polanco MIN 595 2517 7.6% 16.1% .163 .309 .277 .335 .440 107 10.4
3 Torii Hunter MIN 691 2648 6.0% 18.7% .190 .296 .266 .316 .456 96 11.6

Of course, Torii's Twins teams also had a positive "face" of the pitching staff too, which the current team lacks.

IMO, Hunter might have been the face, but the nickname soul patrol, might have helped, and it also helped that he starting hitting home runs in 2001 to go along with his gold gloves.

also IMO option, Morneau wasn't really the face Joe was but they also had a cool nickname M & M boys.

I mean no offense to Polanco, he is a solid to very good major league player, and when he is on he is great. But I think it is hard to envision the face of the team being a good they team didn't think was good enough at SS to move to 2b.

 

 

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On 8/4/2021 at 1:09 PM, TwinsDr2021 said:

Having Polanco as the face of the Twins says more about the current state of the Twins then it does about Polanco.

Same difference. Like I said. Please see yesterday's game that got a series win on the road against a 20 over .500 team. Remains far and away the most reliable day to day player in the lineup.

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1 hour ago, Number3 said:

Same difference. Like I said. Please see yesterday's game that got a series win on the road against a 20 over .500 team. Remains far and away the most reliable day to day player in the lineup.

Please see May 14, 2014's game where Chris Parmelee hit a walk off home run. 

Therefore, Chris Parmelee was clearly the best player in Twins' history. In reality, using a single game as a reference to a player's value doesn't carry a lot of weight with most people.

Jorge Polanco is a very good baseball player and he's the kind of player who will likely appear in a couple more All Star games in his career while averaging 3-4 WAR seasons, but I don't see him being the face of the franchise. 3-4 win players should be fairly common on a team.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fox is promoting Saturday's game v the NYY as "Josh Donaldson and the Minnesota Twins" v the Yankees.

For the record:

Donaldson ab-308 runs-48 hits-77 hr-16 bi-49 avg-250

Jorge Polanco ab-431 runs-72 hits-117 hr-21 bi-66 avg-271

So I will correct Fox and I hope Joe Buck does not call the game.

"Jorge Polanco and the Minnesota Twins take on some team from New York in the first of 2 MLB games of the week on Saturday"

You are welcome.

 

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My original thread title was not a question; it was a statement. So now I will answer the question. The answer is "YES". I can't believe all the posts in other threads that act surprised by his recent performance.

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Is Jorge Polanco the current face of the Twins?

Current means right now. The answer is.... yes. 

I didn't see this two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, I would not be saying the following. Things can change, and will (especially if Buxton stays on the field and the FO isn't foolish enough to trade him), but currently, the man on the field and and leading all offensive individual stat categories for the season for this team on the Twins home page (not just today)......  is Polanco. Current is not the last two years, or April of this year. Current is now.

 

 

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On 8/9/2021 at 1:07 PM, bean5302 said:

Please see May 14, 2014's game where Chris Parmelee hit a walk off home run. 

Therefore, Chris Parmelee was clearly the best player in Twins' history. In reality, using a single game as a reference to a player's value doesn't carry a lot of weight with most people.

Jorge Polanco is a very good baseball player and he's the kind of player who will likely appear in a couple more All Star games in his career while averaging 3-4 WAR seasons, but I don't see him being the face of the franchise. 3-4 win players should be fairly common on a team.

Comparing Polanco to Parmalee......... I saw that 5 minutes ago and am still laughing.

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