Friday, February 26, 2016

TD Top Prospects: #7 Jorge Polanco

Jorge Polanco has seen limited action with the Twins in each of the last two seasons. Minnesota's use of Polanco in 2015 was unique as he was brought up for one game last June, sent back to Double-A, promoted to Triple-A less than a month later, brought back to the majors for three games, and demoted to Chattanooga where he'd finish the season. He's in his final option year and the Twins need to figure out where he fits into their long-term puzzle.
Age: 22 (DOB: 7/5/1993)
2015 Stats (Chattanooga/Rochester): .288/.339/.386 (.725) with 23-2B, 3-3B, 6-HR
ETA: 2016
2014 Ranking: 8; 2015 Ranking: 7

National Top 100 Rankings
BA: 99, MLB: 97, BP: NA

What's To Like

Polanco's bat has been close to major league ready for a couple of seasons and he's only entering his age-22 season. There were some struggles during his early taste of professional baseball where he hit under .250 in 275 GCL at-bats. He has developed into a .288/.348/.404 hitter throughout his minor league career. Polanco has even started to be recognized on the national level this year as Baseball America (99), ESPN's Keith Law (66), and (97) all have him in their top 100.

Even though Minnesota has moved Polanco around a lot over the last two season, they wouldn't have done that if they didn't know the player could handle it. Many scouting reports peg him as a very smart player and he shows a lot of maturity even though he has been younger than the competition at every stop in his career. He's added some muscle to his frame over the last two seasons while continuing to be a good base runner.

What's Left To Work On

The Twins organization continues to play Polanco at shortstop even though he might not have all the skills for the position. Over the last two seasons, he has been charged with 65 errors at shortstop and he has a .932 fielding percentage for his minor league career. He's made some strides at the position but he projects to fit better at second base or even third base. Both of the Twins current players at those positions, Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe, started their careers as shortstops.

Offensively, the switch hitter has hit only one right-handed home run during the last two seasons. However, last season he did post identical .341 OBP marks versus righties and lefties. As he has advanced through the system, his OBP has dropped in each season since posting a career high mark of .388 in 2012. As he continues to mature into his body, it would be nice to see a rise in his some of his power numbers to turn into a double-digit home run hitter with some doubles added in.

What's Next

At this point, there's no spot for Polanco in Minnesota. Brian Dozier is entrenched at second base and the Twins have Trevor Plouffe and Miguel Sano to play at third. Polanco's best shot at the majors would be to slide into the starting shortstop role but Eduardo Escobar will likely start the year at that position.

Unless an injury happens this spring, Polanco will start the year at Rochester and continue to play shortstop and second base. It seems like another year where Polanco could be moved back and forth between the minor leagues and the majors but he will be out of options for next season. This means Minnesota will have to trade one of their other starters or find a utility spot to keep Polanco on the roster.

TD Top Prospect #10: Nick Burdi
TD Top Prospect #9: Kohl Stewart
TD Top Prospect #8: Alex Meyer
TD Top Prospect #7: Jorge Polanco
TD Top Prospect #6-#1: COMING SOON

Get to know more about Polanco and all the other top Twins prospects in the 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook.

ORDER NOW: 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback, $15.99)

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To learn more about all of the prospects in the Twins organization, make sure to order the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. The 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook goes in-depth and provides player bios, scouting reports, statistics and much more on almost 160 Twins minor leaguers. From Abreu to Young, learn more about some of the Future Minnesota Twins.

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