At the time of Yasiel Puig's promotion on June 2, 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers were sitting at 23-32, far below expectations. The team was 8.5 games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks and looking for something to spark an underperforming pitching staff and lineup.
Then came the arrival of Puig, and one of the greatest runs in baseball history. The Dodgers would go 69-38 the rest of the way, winning the NL West in the process as Puig hit .319/.391/.534/.925, finishing second in rookie of the year voting and 15th in MVP voting. Los Angeles would ride the momentum all the way to the NLCS, where they would fall to the St. Louis Cardinals.
One could expect the Pittsburgh Pirates to promote top prospect Gregory Polanco around the same time so that they can avoid Super-2 status with the outfielder. But could his arrival have the same impact?
Before Puig was called up, he was a 22-year old tearing up pitching at Double-A Chattanooga. In 40 games and 167 plate appearances, he hit .313/.383/.599/.982 with eight home runs and 37 RBI. In comparison, the 22-year old Polanco has destroyed pitching while playing for Triple-A Indianapolis. In 41 games and 181 plate appearances, Polanco is hitting .389/.453/.623/1.076 with five home runs and 38 RBI.
One would think those numbers could translate to Puig-esq numbers once Polanco is promoted, and the impact would be immediate on the Pirates' underachieving record (currently 17-25 as of posting time).Tags: Baseball, Gregory Polanco, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pirates, Yasiel Puig