Hidden Vigorish

Detailed Analysis of The Pittsburgh Pirates

The Hidden Value of Gregory Polanco

On the surface Gregory Polanco appears to be having a fairly average sophomore season. Through 30 games Polanco is slashing a pedestrian .271/.320/.381. That is just a .702 OPS. Former Pirates RF Travis Snider, who Polanco replaced, has a .749 OPS this season with the Orioles. But Polanco packs some serious extra value to his game. That value can be found on the base paths.


Fangraphs rates Polanco as the second best baserunner in the National League this season with a BsR of 2.7. Only Billy Hamilton has contributed more value on the base paths in 2015. Polanco has been an efficient base stealer this season swiping 10 bags in 12 attempts, but base running is more than just base stealing ability. The ability to take extra bases by going from 1st to 3rd on a single or score from 1st on a double also adds to a player’s value as a base runner. Polanco is taking extra bases in these situations a whopping 80% of the time this season. Polanco has also yet to ground into a double play this season which is pretty incredible for a player with a ground ball rate of 60.7%. Last year he hit into just 1 double play in 89 games. Even though his offensive abilities have yet to fully materialize, the Pirates have to be happy with the weapon on the bases that they have in Gregory Polanco.


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