Top prospect and Pittsburgh Pirates phenom Gregory Polanco is set to rejoin the Indianapolis Indians during the Tribe’s final homestand of the regular season from Tuesday, Aug. 26 – Saturday, Aug. 30. The five-tool farmhand dominated the International League throughout his original stint with the Indians, earning the Tribe’s Player of the Month Award in April and later becoming the first player in team history to win two IL Batter of the Week awards in the same season (April 14, May 19).
“He’s the kind of player you like to cheer for,” Indians hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo said. “He’s a classy kid and a gentleman, the kind you want to root for, and you could see that in his teammates.”
At the time of his recall to the big leagues on June 10, Polanco’s unmatched performance featured leading all International League batters in:
- Runs (47)
- RBI (49)
- Triples (5)
- Hits (86)
- Extra-Base Hits (29)
- Total Bases (134)
The Tribe’s electrifying outfielder also ranked second in the IL with a .346 batting average after hitting safely in 45 of 62 Triple-A games with 26 multi-knock efforts, reaching base in 50 of 62 appearances and scoring or driving in a run in 45 of 62 contests.
“I would say he’s both physically and mentally ready for the challenge,” Indians manager Dean Treanor said after the initial news of Polanco’s promotion to Pittsburgh. “He wants this challenge.”
Polanco then burst onto the major league scene by tallying hits in each of his first 11 games to establish Pittsburgh’s franchise record for the longest hitting streak to begin a career. He eclipsed Roberto Clemente’s seven-game streak and shattered the previous mark of an eight-game streak set by Spencer Adams in 1923.
“Some young players are out for stardom. He’s not out for stardom. He’s out to be a master craftsman,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said earlier this season. “(The hitting streak) is special…It gives you goose bumps anytime you hear a ‘Not since Clemente,’ that gets your attention.”
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