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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL STOCK WATCH: GREGORY POLANCO THROWING AWAY CHANCE TO BAT LEADOFF

Coming into spring training, the Pittsburgh Pirates made it known that there was a golden opportunity at hand for developing multi-tooled outfielder Gregory Polanco to take hold of the team's leadoff spot for the 2016 season.  Compared both to outfield mates Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte due to his combination of hitting ability and speed, Polanco started to real show off those tools in 2015 during his first full MLB season.  Polanco showed off his lightning quickness by swiping 27 bases and scoring 83 runs while spending a lot of time hitting near the lineup with Josh Harrison injured.  The batting average was not pretty at .256 as Polanco struck out 121 times but he started hinting at the power that could coming soon by smacking 9 home runs.  Thus it was understandable that the Pirates would want to take advantage of Polanco's speed by putting near in the leadoff spot for the upcoming season but Harrison was going to challenge for it also now that he was healthy. 

Fast forward to present day as Polanco has hit a pathetic .206 with no extra-base hits in his last 30 at-bats this spring to pretty much throw away any chance he has of hitting in the leadoff spot.  The plan now is for Polanco to bat toward the bottom of the order and Harrison to be in the leadoff slot.  In the process, Polanco loses a sizable amount of prospective fantasy baseball value if he bats seventh or heaven forbid eighth.  Obviously Polanco would not get nearly as many good pitches to hit there, the plate appearances would drop, and he also would not have as many chances to steal bases.  Put it all together and Polanco's once burgeoning fantasy baseball value is now looking a bit murky for at least the beginning of the season. 

 

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