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Friday, May 19, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: GREGORY POLANCO OUTFIELDER PITTSBURGH PIRATES

When it comes to owning a given player in fantasy baseball, the worst kind of combination once the games begin to count is a guy who gets injured AND also puts forth a disappointing batch of numbers.  After being placed on the 10-day DL Wednesday with a strained hamstring, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco qualifies for such a designation to say the least.  Having battled the hamstring for a a bit of a stretch, Polanco clearly has not been operating at 100 percent when in the lineup and that can at least be partly to blame for his woeful beginning to the season.  Going into his DL stint, nothing looks good as Polanco carries around the following digits:

.252
1 HR
15 R
9 RBI
6 SB

That's right just one single home run.  And a nasty .252 average to boot.  While we do like the 6 stolen bases, Polanco has been a huge fantasy baseball bust so far and this is one guy myself and the rest of the community felt was knocking on the door of OF 1 status.  After all Polanco had shown very intriguing power/speed upside and he looked to be next in line in the recent Pirates outfield conveyor belt that included Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte.  As great as the Pirates outfield looked on paper as recently as last season, we have McCutchen who clearly looks on the downside of his career and now Marte has been busted for 80 games for PED's.  Now we have Polanco's dud which we will dissect here.

Now as far as the recent past is concerned, Polanco opened eyes in 2015 when he hit 9 home runs, stole 27 bases, and batted .256.  While the average was low, Polanco was oozing potential as a high-end fantasy baseball outfielder.  Last season there were heightened expectations and Polanco pretty much delivered as he upped the power to 22 home runs but his steals sank to a still solid 17.  The drop in steals was attributed to some leg injuries and so Polanco got a pass there.  Also his .258 average was still nothing to write home about.

Fast forward to today and Polanco has taken major steps back everywhere.  The power has been non-existent and the average once again is a problem.  In fact the average is now a clear trend for Polanco who can't hit well enough against righties to improve that number.  That is a problem since the clear majority of pitchers are righty and so that is a red flag issue.  Then we have the increasing propensity for getting hurt which further is hurting Polanco's bottom line.  This is the second season in a row he has been hurt and that is never a good thing.

In looking ahead, there are some positive signs though.  Polanco is still just 25 and his .290 BABIP is very low for someone with Polanco's speed.  Also he is drawing walks (10,4 BB/9) at a very high rate and his 13.3 K/9 is a clear improvement from the 20.3 he put there in 2016.  So really what we have is that Polanco has been unlucky with the batted ball and his average should improve due to the walks and nice K rate.  While he won't hit .290, Polanco can go .275 if all breaks right for him the rest of this seasin.

So what we would do here with regarding Polanco is to go out and make a buy low offer to his owners.  The potential is still very apparent here and like we said, Polanco has every right to improve given his rate numbers.  Keep the faith.


2 comments:

  1. I am liking to sell Jake Lamb. The owner of Polanco also has Desmond. Should I do a two for one here or am I selling myself short with that deal?

    ReplyDelete