Placido Polanco’s first year back in red pinstripes was definitely an interesting one. And after taking this assignment to recap Poly’s first year back, I left myself wondering how to sum it up.
While his average didn’t drop much from the beginning of the season, Polanco lost any and all power he had before getting plunked on the elbow. Over the course of the season, Polanco missed 30 games, causing us to see a little too much of the now departed Juan Castro, and the new fan favorite Wilson Valdez.
Polanco peaked in mid August, sporting numbers like .325/.357/.430, however over the final six weeks of the season those numbers dropped to .298/.339/.386 as Polanco nabbed just nine extra-base hits after July 31st.
The one aspect of Polanco’s game that didn’t fade over the course of the season was his glove. Coming into the season, many, including myself, were very worried about the transition from second base to third base. Poly was the fourth best defensive third baseman in the NL, sporting a UZR/150 of 11.3. Not bad for a guy just turned 35 years old.
But how would you describe Polanco’s year to somebody who didn’t see him play one game. What is the first word that comes to mind? To me, I’d sum him up as: there. He was just kind of “there” this season. Unfortunately, the first comparison that comes to my mind is Raul Ibanez’s 2009 season. Polanco started off very hot before fading big time down the stretch after an injury.
Hopefully next season, Polanco can find the form he had earlier in his 2010 campaign, because if not, the Phillies will have a two full years of a slow third baseman who has absolutely zero power and struggles to draw a walk. Polanco will be the definition of a replacement player.
NICK’S GRADE: 6.2/10
PAUL’S GRADE: 7.0/10 – His defense was good, not great, and he made more outs than we’d like to see (just a .339 OBP with his .298 AVG), but I give the guy credit for playing a huge chunk of the season with an elbow rearranged by Tim Hudson. Hopefully he regains form for the last two years of his deal.
Tomorrow: Jimmy Rollins