• Nick with a Stick: Jorge Polanco

    Every team's gotta have one. A guy that can play anywhere on the infield, and be placed in the outfield if need be. This is the guy you put behind the plate in a catcher emergency (like if Mauer, Doumit, and Butera all have to use the restroom, together). He is a bench guy, but would be a terrific regular if he is needed.

    The Minnesota Twins have had some dandy utility guys in years past. The first one that comes to mind is Denny Hocking. There have been many more, but none may have defined the job better than the recent Twin named Nick Punto. "Nicky" could play outstanding defense anywhere, and come up with a big single late in the game. Then he'd steal second and later score. He was scrappy, and I really miss him. He could play 3B too: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?co...61101&c_id=mlb

    Jamey Carroll is the guy most likely to fill the utility role this coming season. After 2013, its anybody's guess. So let me introduce my first choice to be a long-term solution for the club's utility role...my #9 prospect, Jorge Polanco.


    Check out Jorge in the Appy League: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrgvU-gUVwo

    I know - the 19-year-old who played in Elizabethton last year is still at least three years away. But he played every position save for pitcher, catcher and first-base in 2011, including 10 error-free games in the outfield. His infield defense in 2012 was outstanding at 2B, and adequate at SS.

    And unlike Punto, Polanco can hit! The Domincan switch-hitter out-slugged fellow Twins prospects Adam Walker and Travis Harrison (and most of the Appy League) in 2012. Not bad at all for a guy listed at 5'11 165 lbs. If he reproduces numbers like 2012 at the higher minor league levels, then we could be talking about an everyday guy in Minnesota.

    In order to pertain to my title, I am going to predict that Polanco breaks in with the big-league club as a utility infielder in 2016. He will be playing behind Eddie Rosario at 2B and Daniel Santana at SS, but will find plenty of AB's by spelling any infielder that needs a breather. Imagine that Twins fans...a utility guy with a mind to do damage offensively!
    This article was originally published in blog: Nick with a Stick: Jorge Polanco started by mnfanforlife
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Nick with a Stick? Just as the zen that can be spoken is not the true zen, the Nick Punto who can hit is not the true Nick Punto.
    1. gil4's Avatar
      gil4 -
      If his OPS drops into the mid-.500 range this year and then bounces back up in 2014, then we'll know he has the Punto thing going.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      I am predicting that Jorge breaks in as a utility guy in 2016, and is a utility guy that can actually hit! Unlike Punto.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      I am predicting that Jorge breaks in as a utility guy in 2016, and is a utility guy that can actually hit! Unlike Punto.
      Because of the way the talent curve works, there is a very fine line between a successful utility guy and a regular. Odds are that a utility guy that can actually hit gets a shot at a starting role soon after. Which of course would suit this Twins fan just fine.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Because of the way the talent curve works, there is a very fine line between a successful utility guy and a regular. Odds are that a utility guy that can actually hit gets a shot at a starting role soon after. Which of course would suit this Twins fan just fine.
      Absolutely sir. If we remember....Punto and Casilla are examples of utility guys that did not fare well as regulars.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Ceasar Tovar did it all. Played all nine positions one game.
      Of course, this was a long time ago.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      MI solved in 3 years. The Twins have Santana, Rosario and Polanco...
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
      MI solved in 3 years. The Twins have Santana, Rosario and Polanco...
      Digging the snark
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
      Ceasar Tovar did it all. Played all nine positions one game.
      Of course, this was a long time ago.
      I love this! Wish I had a guy every year that could do that
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