Gregory Polanco Rankings Debate: Comparing RotoBaller's Rankers

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It's the fantasy baseball draft season. To us baseball nerds, few things are more exciting than arguing about player rankings. Today, we'll discuss and compare Gregory Polanco RotoBaller staff rankings. He was ranked No. 54 by Bill Dubiel, and No. 112 by Harris Yudin.

Throughout this series, we'll be using our February Staff Rankings to debate where to draft certain players. In cases where our writers had discrepancies, we've asked them to explain their rankings. These debates will provide us with some well-rounded analysis, and help identify undervalued/overvalued draft picks.

Editor's note: Check out our previous rankings debates on Jose RamirezTrea TurnerJ.D MartinezNelson Cruz, Jose AbreuBryce HarperCarlos Martinez, Kyle SchwarberJonathan VillarKenta Maeda and Andrew McCutchen .

 

2017 Draft Rankings Debate: Gregory Polanco

Bill Dubiel's Rankings Analysis

His Overall Ranking: 54

Gregory Polanco has the highest ceiling of all the Pirates' talented outfielders in 2017, as I don't think we've even see the peak of his abilities. He's gotten better in each of his three major league seasons, posting a .258/.323/.463 slash line last year with 22 big flies and 17 steals. Polanco actually sacrificed a bit of speed last year (he had 27 steals in 2015) but more than doubled his home run total (nine in 2015). And I think in a full season, Polanco is a lock for a 20/20 season with the potential for much more.

The power from last year is sustainable, as Polanco's .205 ISO, while a career high, is actually not far off from his minor league numbers. In 2012, Polanco posted a .197 ISO across a full season of A-ball, and 2014 was the only year in which he hit fewer than 12 total homers (across all levels). If he makes a bit more solid contact, Polanco could approach 25 homers again in 2017.
There's even some evidence that Polanco was unlucky getting on base last year. He posted the highest K-rate of his career in 2016 (20.3%) and a relatively low BABIP (.291). Once again, with a little bit of increased contact, Polanco could bump up his batting average and OBP, allowing more opportunities for stolen bases. The speed has always been there (roughly 38 steals per 162 games for his professional career) so opportunity seems to be the only thing keeping Polanco's steal totals down.

 

Harris Yudin's Rankings Analysis

His Overall Ranking: 112

Last year’s weird, league-wide power surge appears to have spread to Polanco, who nearly tripled his home run total from 2015 despite seeing 65 fewer plate appearances. At 6-foot-4, it’s not unreasonable for Polanco to tap into some raw power, but the odds of the 25-year-old eclipsing 20 bombs again are low. He was never expected to have anything more than average power — the only time he posted an ISO above .175 was back in Single-A — and somewhere in the 150 range is more likely. His strikeout rate increased and his BABIP dipped back below .300, so there’s little reason to believe his average will make much of a jump after sitting in the .250s for each of the last two years.

Polanco is a legitimate low-end OF2, but outfield is such a deep position that I can’t imagine spending up for him in the fifth round when someone like Dexter Fowler (ADP of 188) can be had nine or 10 rounds later. To me, there is nothing that sets Polanco apart from Adam Eaton, Jackie Bradley Jr, David Dahl and Lorenzo Cain, all of whom should finish somewhere in the 15-15 range and all of whom are ranked outside the top 100 by most or all of the RotoBaller writers.

It is worth noting that, in my updated rankings, Polanco has jumped up to 87.



2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings