Gregory Polanco Crushed a Ball Into the Allegheny River Thanks to His Newfound Power
The Pirates have been waiting for Gregory Polanco's power.
This year, he's trying to send a message.
That homer was during yesterday's contest against the Reds, and it bounced into the Allegheny River, traveling 411 feet. It was his third bomb of the year, and actually his shortest: he hit 446- and 457-foot homers earlier in the month. His average home run, since he's hit the three home run minimum, is now longest of any Major League Baseball player.
Polanco currently sits in 67th in the bigs in hard-hit rate, and while that's nothing substantial, his 34.6% rate is higher than the 30.3% we saw from him last year, his first full season in the bigs. Polanco's isolated power has taken a huge bump to start the year as a result, as it sits at .225 -- that's significantly higher than his .129 career average.
The Pirates own the highest wOBA in baseball (.358), but it's sure to regress given their .344 BABIP, which is also highest in the league. Once regression hits, as long as Polanco can keep up his powerful bat (comparatively), it'd be surprising if he continues to hit low in the order, at least against right-handed pitching.