Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jorge Polanco, shortstop

Jorge Polanco is
one ot three Twins
in the top 10 in
defensive WAR
in the AL as
calculated by
Baseball Reference.
Jorge Polanco played regularly at shortstop the last two months of 2016. He played the position like a pinball bumper -- 11 errors in 406 innings -- which essentially fit his erratic results in the minors.

And yet Paul Molitor persisted. He saw a major league shortstop in Polanco where almost nobody else did. And so far this season he has been vindicated.

On Tuesday John Dewan, founder of Baseball Info Systems, posted this piece on the Twins fielding improvement this year. 

After a rough start to his defensive career as a rookie in 2016, Jorge Polanco has been looking very comfortable at shortstop so far this season, saving the team five runs. In particular, Polanco has shined with his throwing arm, making seven plays above average in the hole between shortstop and third base.
As if to underline that second sentence, Polanco made two such plays in the ninth inning Tuesday night in the Twins shutout win over Baltimore.

Polanco has not hit quite as well as I expected (which doesn't mean he won't). He has been far better afield than I could have imagined. When you look for reasons the Twins are so much better this year compared to last, Polanco the shortstop is high on the list.

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