Minnesota Twins prospect Jorge Polanco is having a solid spring training: .286/.355/.429 with three walks and six strikeouts in 28 at-bats. A reader, reacting to positive reports on Polanco from other sources, asked if I would post the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book comment for Polanco and expand with any additional thoughts, so here goes.
Jorge Polanco, SS-2B, Minnesota Twins
Bats: S Throws: R HT: 5-11 WT: 200 DOB: July 5, 1993
From the 2015 book:
Signed for $750,000 in 2009 out of the Dominican, all of Polanco’s tools are at least average with the possible exception of power. He runs okay, throws well, has a nice swing from both sides of the plate, makes contact, isn’t allergic to walks, and is a competent defender at both middle infield positions. The only thing he doesn’t do is hit a bunch of home runs, but he has wiry strength and some pop to the gaps, giving hope that more power will come in time. I’m rather optimistic about him. . .
Nothing Polanco did in 2015 changes that view, except I am a little more confident that more power will come eventually. He could use more Triple-A time but gives the Twins another viable up-the-middle option or a valuable trade chit. Holding steady with a Grade B-.
As you can see, my book comment this year wasn't exactly extensive, being a cut-and-paste from last year with "I still agree with this" paragraph. Sometimes there seems little point in re-writing something when the basic opinion and analysis hasn't changed much.
On further reflection, well, that's still what I think about Polanco. Nothing he's done this spring is out of place with what we already knew. And that's a good thing, since Polanco does a lot of things well.
If you take an optimistic view on his power projection and ability to remain at shortstop, you can make a case that the B- grade is a notch too low and he should be a straight Grade B, which would put him in contention for a Top 100 list. As it stands, even with a Grade B- he'll find a spot on the Top 175 which will be published Monday.
UPDATE: APRIL 19, 2016
Polanco is likely to be promoted to the major league roster today to cover for the ailing Trevor Plouffe. He is off to a strong start in Triple-A, hitting .286/.316/.543 with three triples in 35 at-bats.
My basic take from pre-season hasn't changed and I'd still have him right on the Grade B-/B borderline. He ended up slotting at Number 154 on the Top 175 prospects list. I'd likely have him a little higher than that now, with momentum moving upward.