Just a couple days after the Pittsburgh Pirates sent their top pitching prospect to minor-league camp, they did the same with their best position player yet to make the majors.
Outfielder Gregory Polanco, considered by many to be the most prodigious everyday talent the Bucs have developed since Andrew McCutchen, was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday morning along with right-handed reliever Duke Welker.
Polanco, 22, went 6 for 22 in 10 Grapefruit League games, slamming two doubles and a homer in the process. Conventional wisdom dictates that both he and promising righty starter Jameson Taillon, who was demoted Monday, will make their Pirates debuts around midseason.
Polanco first started attracting attention after posting a .910 OPS (on-base plus slugging) at Low-A West Virginia in 2012. The Dominican Republic native followed that up with a combined .791 OPS in 2013 across three minor-league levels.
Polanco played just a pair of games for Indianapolis last summer, so making the Pirates’ Opening Day roster was a longshot.
The Bucs host Philadelphia at Bradenton’s McKechnie Field today as exhibition play continues. First pitch from Brandon Cumpton is set for 1 p.m. Visit the Pirates’ website for an exclusive broadcast of the game.