Gregory Polanco
Gregory Polanco
29-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Pittsburgh Pirates
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Last season was a lost year for Polanco, and unfortunately there's still lingering health questions heading into 2020. Specifically, Polanco dislocated his shoulder in September 2018 and hasn't been right since. Rebab from surgery delayed his debut until April 22. Polanco returned to the IL on June 22 with left shoulder inflammation. He remained there the rest of the campaign. When on the field, Polanco struggled, ultimately losing playing time before being shelved. Oddly, his average exit velocity was similar to prior years, but his hard-hit rate plummeted. In addition, his strikeout rate ballooned to 29%, 10 points worse than normal. It's very likely Polanco's shoulder wasn't 100 percent and there's still concern a second surgery may be necessary. Hence, caveat emptor is prudent for early drafters. It may not be until later in the spring before Polanco's injury status is clarified. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#340
ADP
$Signed a five-year, $35 million contract extension with the Pirates in April of 2016. Contract includes $12.5 million team option ($3 million buyout) for 2022 and $13.5 million team option ($1 million buyout) for 2023.
Sits in season finale
OFPittsburgh Pirates
September 27, 2020
Polanco is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Indians.
ANALYSIS
Polanco mostly stayed healthy during the abbreviated 60-game season, but like many Pittsburgh regulars, he saw his offensive production take a major step back in 2020. Unless manager Derek Shelton opts to use him off the bench in the season finale, Polanco will conclude the campaign with a .153 average and 37.6 percent strikeout rate, both of which are the worst marks of his career by far.
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Batting Stats
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2020
2019
2018
2017
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
4
14
17
5
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
2
2
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+8%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+5%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+7%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+12%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .717 215 18 7 27 2 .226 .312 .405
Since 2018vs Right .774 650 91 29 93 16 .233 .308 .466
2020vs Left .524 35 1 1 4 0 .133 .257 .267
2020vs Right .552 132 10 6 18 3 .157 .205 .347
2019vs Left .689 38 2 2 5 0 .229 .289 .400
2019vs Right .737 128 21 4 12 3 .246 .305 .432
2018vs Left .771 142 15 4 18 2 .248 .331 .440
2018vs Right .864 390 60 19 63 10 .256 .344 .521
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+14%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+104%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+4%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+7%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .810 421 55 19 59 13 .249 .328 .482
Since 2018Away .710 443 55 17 60 5 .214 .289 .421
2020Home .705 90 8 4 14 3 .220 .278 .427
2020Away .346 76 4 3 7 0 .071 .132 .214
2019Home .740 74 10 3 9 2 .257 .297 .443
2019Away .714 92 13 3 8 1 .229 .304 .410
2018Home .870 257 37 12 36 8 .258 .354 .516
2018Away .811 275 38 11 45 4 .250 .327 .484
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Stat Review
How does Gregory Polanco compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.20
 
BB Rate
7.5%
 
K Rate
37.6%
 
BABIP
.193
 
ISO
.172
 
AVG
.153
 
OBP
.214
 
SLG
.325
 
OPS
.539
 
wOBA
.237
 
Exit Velocity
85.1 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
47.4%
 
Barrels/PA
9.8%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Polanco had a solid offensive season overall, filled with some ups and downs and ending with a shoulder injury that required major surgery in mid-September. There were three months in which he hit below .235 and three months in which he hit over .300, including .409 in September before going down with his injury. Some will point to the fact that 19 of Polanco's 23 home runs came off righties as a data point that Polanco cannot hit lefties, but ignore them. His overall numbers against lefties have actually been slightly above the league average in two of the past three seasons. Lefties limit him, but they do not complete neuter him. Polanco changed his swing last season to get more loft on the ball, which led to an increase in his strikeout rate (21.9%), but he also nearly doubled his walk rate (11.4%). While he will miss the start of the year, Polanco said he expects to return before June.
Plenty of talented young players experience down years, but Polanco's decline in performance in his age-25 season is particularly difficult to explain. He battled hamstring issues throughout 2017, making three separate trips to the DL due to the hamstring, but those problems alone cannot fully account for a 25-point drop in wRC+ and 34-point drop in wOBA. Polanco did trim his strikeout rate to a career-low 14.6 percent (from 20.3 percent), but those contact gains were largely offset by a decline in walk rate (6.6 percent) and power (25.9 percent hard-hit rate, down from 35.7 percent). He also took a sizable step back against left-handed pitching (.231/.278/.308). Better health should help Polanco's production return to a more respectable level, but any thought of him ascending to star status in 2018 seems misguided given the injuries and lack of skill growth last season. Keep in mind that he's only had one above-average season to date.
Polanco seemingly played two totally different seasons in 2016. In 78 games through July 4, he batted .297/.374/.521 with 12 home runs, 50 RBI and nine steals in 330 plate appearances. Though he hit 10 homers with 36 RBI and eight steals in his final 257 plate appearances, he also wilted with a .220 clip and .682 OPS. His power output says there wasn't much of an issue, but injuries to his knee, shoulder, hamstring and face, via a collision with a wall, contributed to his uneven performance, and he has now suffered noteworthy swoons in each of his first three campaigns. At 25, he is still young enough to take another step forward, and his sizable increase in hard contact shows that he's squaring up pitches better. Unfortunately, his tall frame seems susceptible to injury. While the outfielder set career highs in home runs and RBI, his ceiling is even higher across the board -- but only if he can stay healthy and soften his dips in production.
There are few things Polanco can’t do on a baseball field — good or bad. For example, he finished second among NL outfielders in assists (13) but committed a league-high eight errors. Therein lies the rub with the 24-year-old. Which player is going to show up in 2016? He stole 27 bases in 37 attempts but his AB/HR rate dropped from 39.6 to 65.9. The outfielder gives fantasy owners flashes of his potential — he hit .339/.391/.521 from July 12 to Aug. 28, yet goes on stretches of futility — .148/.239/.222 from June 7 to July 5. Of course he’s entering only his second full season in the big league, so there’s plenty of room to grow — just expect a few bumps along the way.
Polanco proved to be the posterchild for fantasy caution with youth in 2014. After tearing up Triple-A to the tune of a .347/.405/.540 batting line in 274 plate appearances, Pittsburgh called up its super-prospect June 10. He started strong with an 11-game hit streak, but eventually fell off the table -- he hit .068 (3-for-44) from Aug. 13 to Sept. 13 -- and was benched in favor of Travis Snider in right field. Polanco offers a unique mix of speed and power, but will battle Snider for playing time again in 2015. In the long run, he represents the future in right but playing time (or even a roster spot) isn't guaranteed to begin 2015. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound outfielder remains a great pick in keeper leagues, though owners in single-season leagues will want watch his battle with Snider closely in spring training.
Polanco's estimated time of arrival is sometime in the summer of 2014, once the Super 2 arbitration deadline passes in June. Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a free agent, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound center fielder is blessed with a rare mix of speed and power. Polanco has averaged 25 steals in five minor-league seasons. He's also hit 28 homers in his last two years. The 22-year-old put together a .285/.356/.434 combined line between three levels -- High-A, Double-A and Triple-A -- in 2013. The left-handed hitting Polanco hit .366 against lefties last year and has always done well against southpaws, a rare commodity. Blessed with good plate discipline (52:73 K:BB ratio), the outfielder could impact fantasy teams as soon as June.
A breakout 2012 has put Polanco squarely on the map as one of Pittsburgh's top two offensive prospects, along with Alen Hanson. Plate discipline sets the center fielder apart from others. He compiled a 44:64 BB:K ratio in 437 at-bats for Low-A West Virginia. More remarkably, the left-handed hitter registered a 1.087 OPS against southpaws, better than his fine .850 mark versus righties. Polanco hit .325/.388/.522 with 16 homers and 40 stolen bases (in 55 attempts) as a 20-year-old. He suffered an ankle injury that forced him out of the lineup in late 2012, but he played winter ball and is expected to be 100-percent healthy for 2013. He'll likely start the season with High-A Bradenton, but could move up to Double-A Altoona by season's end.
More Fantasy News
Swats home run No. 7
OFPittsburgh Pirates
September 26, 2020
Polanco went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in a 4-3 loss to the Indians on Friday.
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Not in lineup
OFPittsburgh Pirates
September 19, 2020
Polanco is not starting Saturday against St. Louis.
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Leads offense in victory
OFPittsburgh Pirates
September 17, 2020
Polanco went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in a win over the Cardinals on Thursday.
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Sits for first game
OFPittsburgh Pirates
September 14, 2020
Polanco will be on the bench for the first game of Monday's doubleheader against the Reds.
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Out of lineup
OFPittsburgh Pirates
September 11, 2020
Polanco is not starting Friday against the Royals.
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