This is another installment in our series grading the individual performances of the key members of the 2019 Minnesota Twins. Each player will receive a classic grade on the scale of A through F, based on their hitting, fielding, and whatever else the author wants to consider. Check out our other previous installments in the related section below. Today, I’ll be reviewing outfielder Jorge Polanco’s season.
Jorge Polanco began the 2019 season fresh off a long contract extension despite just a half season in 2018 due to suspension. The front office showed their faith in him to be the All Star hitter he had shown flashes of before. They were rewarded for their decision when Polanco hit .295/.356/.485 (.841) with 22 homers and 79 RBIs.
He was the starting shortstop for the American League in the All Star Game and he was the first Twin starting in the game since Joe Mauer in 2013. The first half for Polanco was definitely better than the second half as he hit .312 with a .882 OPS and then .273 with a .788 OPS in the second half. This is usually traced to him only playing 130 MLB games only one other time in his career. Fatigue may have caught up to him as it does to many hitters.
Polanco is featured a lot on the Twins leader boards and when you show up on the boards with one of the best offensive teams in baseball, you likely had a good season. Here is where he finished among the Twins hitters:
- 3rd in WAR (4.0)
- 3rd in AVG (.295)
- 4th in OBP (.356)
- 7th in SLG (.485)
- 6th in wRC+ (119)
- 3rd in BB/K (0.52)
- 4th in Win Probability Added (1.77)
Polanco was a top four or five hitter over the whole season and he is probably mad at Luis Arraez for having enough plate appearances to qualify for the leader boards and finishing ahead of him in pretty much everything.
Defensively, Polanco actually had his worst season since 2015 according to FanGraphs Ultimate Zone Rating. He finished with a -9.1 rating which was tied for the worst among all AL shortstops. He also finished with 22 errors which was the second worst in the AL. Only Tim Anderson of the White Sox was worse.
2019 was a good season overall for Polanco with his first All Star Game appearance, and helping lead the Twins to their first division title since 2010. He is a lock to be in the lineup again next season because of his production at the plate, but the defense still is a concern that will have to be sorted out. Overall, good season in his first year of his new contract. I would give him an A- for the offense and a C- for his defense.
Overall Grade: B
What grade would you give Jorge Polanco’s season?
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