Here is a little bit of perspective on the excitement that surrounded Gregory Polanco‘s big league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. The young outfielder got a standing ovation for his first hit, an otherwise uneventful single to left field.
Polanco, one of the most highly regarded position player prospects in all of baseball, had his arrival in the big leagues delayed for business reasons. The Pirates wanted to be sure they waited long enough to promote him to avoid an extra year of arbitration and keep him comfortably under team control for as long as possible.
The reception of this philosophy was mixed around the league, especially for a Pirates team that wants to prove it is for real after an appearance in the playoffs in 2013.
That is finally behind us, and now we get to see what Polanco is made of. That started with this single against Cubs’ starter Travis Wood.
Initial observation: Polanco is a grown man. We heard tales of his combination of speed and strength, but it’s not until you see him on the field that you appreciate the way that he stands out from the rest as an athlete.
The Pirates have turned things around lately, and they will hope to continue that rise with Polanco joining their uber-talented outfield.