If you have not been to an Indianapolis Indians game this year, odds are you may have missed your opportunity to see one of the best MLB prospects to come out of the Indians' farm system since Andrew McCutcheon; as the MLB's Pittsburgh Pirates called up Indians' OF Gregory Polanco to the major leagues last night, Monday, June 9, after 2B Neil Walker left the game with appendicitis.
Polanco had a slow start after debuting in the minor leagues in 2009, but had a resurgence in 2012 when he finished the season batting .325 in Single-A. Since 2012, Polanco has been rapidly rising up the scouting ranks, and showed no signs of slowing down in 2014.
According to scouts, Polanco was the 13th ranked prospect coming into the 2014 season, but quickly moved up the ranks to number three after hitting .347 in 62 games with the Triple-A Indians this year.
Polanco leaves the Indians with 47 runs, most in the Triple-A International League, and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of .945.
Polanco's offensive prowess should be a welcome addition to a middling Pirates offense that ranks in the bottom-half of the league in nearly every major offensive statistical category.
Polanco's seemingly long wait to be called up might seem surprising to most. After all, by all accounts he seems more than capable of providing a much-needed bat to a struggling Pirates lineup, minus hot-hitting Andrew McCutcheon, but the decision was influenced by the MLB's little known "Super Two" arbitration rule; which allows star players who have played for a certain number of days to have their contract price decided by a third-party arbitrator.
Usually, the arbitration favors the player.
As a result of this rule, players with superior talent, like P Stephen Strasburg in 2010, are not called up until June, as their probability of obtaining Super Two status severely diminishes after May due to time.
Whether the Super Two ruling may make it too late for Polanco to make a difference in the Pirates' 2014-15 playoff run is unknown, but with his talent level, he certainly has the potential to make an immediate impact.
For those curious to catch a glimpse of who could be the next big star of Major League Baseball, Polanco is scheduled to make his debut in Pittsburgh tonight, Tuesday, June 10, at 7:05 PM EST against the Chicago Cubs and P Travis Wood.