Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Expectations for Gregory Polanco

For those who stashed and waited for Gregory Polanco to get the call, pat yourself on the back and enjoy what should be an exciting ride.

Polanco was officially promoted to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday after leaking his imminent arrival on Twitter. Everybody loves a juicy leak. Leeks, on the other hand, are for lovers of veggies.

Polanco was promptly put into the 2nd spot in the lineup Tuesday night in his major league debut against the Chicago Cubs, going 1-for-5 with a run scored and a strikeout in the 9th.

Expectations are sky high, and the #2 spot in the batting order is an ideal spot for him with his power and speed combo. If he succeeds, he’ll be a great source of runs and has protection in front of Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez. If he struggles, which many rookies often do, he may fall in the order.  However, the playing time will be there. Polanco had nothing left to prove in the minors, and the Pirates clearly want him with the team after initially offering a seven-year deal.

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

So what can we expect for fantasy production from Polanco with 98 games remaining for the Pirates?

George Springer had similar stats in the minors, and since getting to the bigs he’s hit 12 home runs in 47 games, including a monster stretch of seven homers in seven games. At that rate he’ll hit 25 homers the rest of the way.

I don’t expect the same outburst, but I do hope Polanco hits half the homers (12) and steals 12-13 bags in exchange for power. That combo is not easy to find on most waiver wires. Batting average is a crapshoot, but setting the bar for .260-.270 is a safe play.

Another comparison to make is with McCutchen. As a rookie he hit .286 with 12 homers and 22 steals in 108 games. Polanco has been better in the minors than McCutchen was, and with 98 games remaining, Polanco could go for something similar, maybe 10 homers and 15 steals.

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Tags: Gregory Polanco Pittsburgh Pirates

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