2010 Year in Review: Placido Polanco

Posted by Brian Michael, Fri, October 29, 2010 11:30 AM | Comments: 90
2010 Player Reviews, Posts

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

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  • Posts: 0 Greg

    Quote Lefty: “There is no Perfect Game without Polly…”

    Actually, there is. And a no-hitter. Polanco didn’t play in either of Halladay’s No-No’s. At 3B on May 29 was Juan Castro. Utley was at 2B.

    On Halladay’s Postseason No-hitter, Valdez got the start at third because Polly had back problems.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I didn’t respond to anything you said, Phylan?? That’s all I’ve been doing. Just becasue I choose to make comments that you don’t agree with…you now think that I didn’t respond to you.

    And…you ARE a snot-nosed, know-it-all kid…until you can prove me otherwise.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I come back to this…

    What’s his role? To be a good situational hitter – adept at making contact (moving runners along) and not killing rallies, able to drive in a runner standing on third base, plays defense and scores runs. He’s not a run producer – even in his best year when he hit .341, he only drove in 67 runs with 9 HR. He’s a singles hitter that can drop one onto the warning track if guys play him too shallow. He doesn’t strike out and he puts the ball in play – and that makes him a great hit and run guy (putting the guy in front of him in position to score). He played awesome defense and scored enough runs to make me happy (would have scored 85 runs if he had made it an entire season). I’m not sure what you really expected Polly to do… he’s the setter on a volleyballl team. He’s the fullback on a football team. You need guys like Polly that do the little things.

  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Chuck, I mean you didn’t rebut anything in my 2:40 PM post. But I don’t actually care anymore because if you’re just going to insult me it’s not really worth partaking in this “discussion.”

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Hey, I like it when we get passionate about a player. I really like Polanco and am real happy he is a Philly. It is healthy to argue about a player on a blog, especially when the parties know baseball. Goes to show you that two people can scrutinize the same thing and have totally different perspectives. After all, I hate to be right ALL THE TIME !!! This was, in my humble opinion, a harsh evaluation of Polanco. He deserved an “8″.

  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    The average STARTING thirdbaseman is well above the 8 HR, 37 RBI cited by Yahoo. I think Yahoo must have factored in anybody that even played a handful of games there – which really makes their numbers irrelevant.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    He got lower than Howard and Utley?
    thats priceless

    utley and howard AKA 1 and 0 rbi (respectively) both 4s
    Polly is a 7

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Polanco was grinding all season long.

    I was annoyed by the YiRs on Howard and Utley.

    This one angers me. It relegates Polanco to a place he doesn’t deserve.

    Honestly, I would skip Jimmy Rollins, guys. The guy played, what, seventy games all year? Assessing his year would serve no purpose, other than simply letting out the frustration.

    If you’re going to take your frustration out on Howard and Polanco, take it out on everyone or take it out on no one.

    Polanco was MUCH better than he was portrayed. Like Howard, he deserves better.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    @Andrew: That’s what’s wrong with doing a year in review when all people are still thinking about is the pitch Howard stared at and the two errors Chase made that cost us Game 6. You can’t possibly be fair to these guys before the World Series is even over.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I’m insulting you??

    Just the tone of your posts directed at me…and the rest of us…is insulting.

    You act like you know it all. Maybe you do. Good for you.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    @ kate
    its a blog for discussing the team the good and the bad.
    so thats what they do. ill go away when some of the stuff doesnt interest me. I dont really care abotu the minor leagues. I am glad some are and that they will fill me in. But Ill make my decisions when they are here. Not by reading others opinions.
    But thats what its for. To get people talking about the team good or bad.

    They probably shuold take a few weeks before anything too serious. We are all still is a crappy mood.

  • Posts: 0 karen

    I would agree with the grade of 6/7. He was okay, a bit more consistent than some but I am not overly in love but he was injured most of the season…..Hold off until next year after full season post surgery

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I think Polly is gonna win the Gold Glove… call me crazy, but is there any other good candidate?

  • Posts: 0 The Beerman

    You’d think I would have said Polanco was awful. Polanco is servicable. If Ryan Zimmerman is a 10 and Pedro Feliz is a 2, then wouldn’t you say Polanco falls in the middle?

    Jesus people. If you look outside the box and look at things other than batting average, maybe you could open your eyes to some perspective.

    Who this season had a really good year offensively? Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth…THATS IT! The offense was the worst it had been in 4 years!

    Do you know why Ryan Howard didn’t drive in the runs he normally did? BECAUSE THE GUYS WHO HIT LEADOFF AND SECOND HAD ON BASE PERCENTAGES AROUND .350!

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Polanco is an excellent #2 hitter. He is a good defensive third baseman and provided the Phils with what they were seeking. He played hurt and he still batted close to .300. He can hit-and-run, make contact and
    put leadoff hitters into scoring position. Overall, we do not have to think outside the box to realize that Polanco was a real contributor last year. We lacked this last year.

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Hey, the Twins let Nick Punto , and ex- Phillie, go into free agency. He plays outfield and all infield positions, is a swich-hitter and has hit 13 homers in ten years with a .240 batting average. God bless him in his search for a team. He also made over $7 million in the last decade. Not bad.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Screw “concrete.” Concrete is a totally lifeless and rigid substance. I’m tired of someone demanding a definition of “intangible.” The very word itself means something that can’t be quantified, but the fact the word exists means that there ARE things which are more than the sum of their parts.

    Also, the argument put forth by fred that “Playing hurt is admirable, but when it hurts the team due to a lack of production is it really a great intangible ? Polancos numbers were downright poor after July, wheras Halladay still performed to a high level hurt.” The potential replacements for Polanco were Greg Dobbs and (at those times he wasn’t playing SS) Wilson Valdez. Valdez was maybe okay, but he still wasn’t close to an injured Placido, and Dobbs was downright useless.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I did look at more than batting average. Look at my post at 1:50 PM. I mentioned 4 different offensive stats, comparing Polanco to Feliz. You know, the Pedro Feliz that helped us win 2 pennants and one World Series….

    … And Polanco is an upgrade over him.

    And I even included fielding stats…which your buddy Phylan labeled as “useless”

    The thing that really set me off about your article, Beerman, is the statement, “He was just kind of “there” this season.”

    That is just about the most ridiculous thing I have read in awhile on this site. It implies that it’s referring to someone who hit about .250 and had other slash stats lower than what Polly actually had…and who played a just ok defense instead of being a player that should be considered for a GG at his position. All while having bone chips causing him a lot of pain.

    That’s your definition of someone who’s “serviceable” or “just kind of there” ??? Really???

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    ^^^Sorry, the word “worthless” was what was used to describe the value of fielding percentage. Not useless. Just clarifying.

    Basically the same thing.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Errors are over rated
    Because if you have good range you get more chances so thus you commit more errors.
    Most people dont get that. Total chances or chances per game way out shines total errors.

    Batting average is the most over rated stats in professionsal sports.
    Lets say you got 500 AB in a season. The difference between a .250 and .300 hitter is 25 hits. Or less than a hit a week during the regular season.
    Its value is overall comparative stat. But you can be a better hitter at .250 than at .300.

  • Posts: 0 Nick "Beerman" Staskin

    Fielding percentage is overrated. If you go to fangraphs.com and study the fielding stats you will see fielding percentage only shows the balls you got to.That being said, I said Polly’s glove was great, but if you really want to discuss this I’m more than happy to.

    You compared Polanco to one of the worst offensive third base options in baseball. Pedro Feliz…

    OBP — .308
    SLG — .386
    OPS — .694
    AVG — .266

    Placido Polanco this year with the Phillies:
    OBP — .339
    SLG — .386
    OPS — .726
    AVG — .298

    Those numbers are pretty damn close. The difference was the .32 point batting average. Which equated probably to all singles. I’m not saying Polanco sucks, but fans in Philadelphia overrate him big time. When you are only marginally better than Pedro Feliz, perhaps you aren’t that great?

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Ninety-seven wins is a fantastic season for any ball club.

    Getting past the first round of the playoffs isn’t something they all do. Most teams don’t even SEE the playoffs.

    Getting to Game 6 of the Championship series in a best of seven is more than most of the major league did.

    I think we need some perspective here and these reviews are coming far too early.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    I put the link to my stats at the bottom of my posting, from Yahoo.

    Your stats certainly look to be accurate. I don’t know why the Yahoo stats are wrong, but apparently they are. I was mislead in making comparisons to other 3b’s.

    Thanks for the fangraphs link, I’ll use it frequently.

  • Posts: 0 Nick "Beerman" Staskin


    When you get content on just getting there you are only cheating yourself. Anything less than NL pennants is a disappointment for the group of players this team had this season. Between the talent, the payroll and the risk the future to get here now attitude the Phillies have taken, you can’t be satisfied to just get to the postseason anymore. This isn’t 2007, where the Phillies hadn’t been to the playoffs in 14 years. We aren’t the Cincinnatti Reds, this is a team that is getting older with each passing day. Whether you want to admit it or not, this season was a letdown.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Excellent post.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Nick – Uhhhh, Polanco is better than him in three categories and is tied in one. Polanco kills him in batting average. Why did we get him in the first place? To put the ball in play, to hit to the other side, to not strike out. To bat 2nd. Thats what he does. The man does not try to hit homers with a man on. He tries to move him. Ask him to bat third and you get 20/90/.300.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    The Phils blow.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Nick, I agree that Polanco’s offensive numbers aren’t light years better than Feliz’s. I only said that between the offense and his defense…which was excellent…that Polanco represents a nice upgrade over Pedro Feliz. And, given his injury, I think that upgrade is even more clarified.

    I’m not one to “overrate” many players. If fact, I think ratings are pretty silly….it’s really hard to put a number on something like this. What one person says is a 6…another might say 7.5. And both might be right with their different arguments as to why they rated them the way they did.

    As for your statement about this season being a “letdown”…I have to agree…to a point. I think we all thought at the beginning of the year that we were the team to beat. On paper, we had it all. We were poised to dominate. And we did for the first…what? …8 games??

    Then the injuries came and Charlie had to mix and match all season with guys coming and going from the DL.

    At the 48-46 mark I think a lot of us thought we were done ….

    ……(even though I constantly came on here and said that once Utley and Howard and Rollins were healthy…we would probably be a playoff team…at least make a charge).

    We made that charge….dominated all of baseball for like the last 70 games…and ended up with the best record.

    For some…that represented what we were supposed to do all year anyway. Dominate….and be on the cusp of greatness. Winning it all would just be a formality.

    For others….it was an achievement all in itself….coming from 7 games back to win the division by 6 games…in the space of a month or so.

    So, yeah…it was a letdown in that we didn’t get to where we set out to be at at the start of the season…..WFCs…

    ….but the fact that we made the playoffs at all after where were were on July 21st….that’s pretty amazing.

    I’m not content by any stretch.

    I disapppointed. I’m angry. I’m sad. STILL. After almost a full week. I can barely watch the Series. I’m only doing it a little bit because I love the game of baseball and realize that that’s pretty much it until March.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Most teams didnt have Doc and Oswalt and Hamels.
    Most teams didnt have 2 former MVPS and supposed future one in their infield. All 3 still in thier “primes”.

    It was a tremendously disappointing season.
    Last year losing to the yankees wasnt. Because Colse sucked and Pedro was average at best.

    Its all about expectations. This should have been the best phillies team ever.
    On the bright side? I feel with the right moves next years team could be very special and the bitter disappointment of this year is only feul to that fire.

  • Posts: 0 Bob

    How can a 97 win season, a 4th straight NL East title and 3rd straight appearance in the NL Championship be a disappointing season?

    All the moments from the comebacks to Doc’s gems, all the sellouts.


    Yes the ending was heartbreaking, but you just can not win every year. The Billion Dollar Yankees dont win every year, the Red Sox needed 2 years from their 04 title to win their 2nd of the era in 2007.

    The only disappointment was the ending of the season, not the season itself.

    Amaro will make the necessary moves to put this team back in position for a 4th straight legitmate run at a World Series.

    We need to remember to enjoy this era because we are gonna be hardpressed to see sustained success like this in the future.

    I’m proud of these guys, despite falling short and despite the big team disappointments at the plate. They never quit, they just fell short.

    Spring Training comes soon.

  • Posts: 0 Al

    On defense, Polanco owned Feliz this year. It may have been some statistical noise for Feliz, as his UZR/150 went from +9 runs last year to -5 runs this year, but Polanco’s UZR/150 this year was +11 runs. Most of Polanco’s good UZR came from simply not making errors. 2009 Feliz had above-average range, while 2010 Polanco had slightly below-average range (2010 Feliz fell of a cliff).

    Also, as I was thumbing through some stats, I noticed that Jimmy walked more than he struck out this year. If he can fix his swing next year and get his BABIP up, our leadoff man may be back.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    No you cant win it every year.
    But you can win every year you have Halladay Oswalt and Hamels on their A+ game and in thier prime.
    If hamels sucked in 2010 like he did in 2009 it would be more understandable.
    Who is to say that in 2011 all 3 arent on the DL by July?
    Then you are proud to win the NLDS.
    I get it. We had fun. Its a great team to follow.
    I cant wait for first pitch 2011 opening day.
    On the disappointment scale 2010 was a 10 and 09 was only a 5.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    And in 5 years we could just miss the playoffs by 1 game and it could be the most satisfying season ever.
    For me 2010 is more disappointing than 93 or 09 or 07 or any one of the last place years.
    I was here after the 09 loss and was very positive about it.
    Its perception.
    This was the best phillies team ever assembled.
    2011 could be very special. Historicly.

  • Posts: 0 brooks

    I was at work yesterday, able to glance infrequently at these posts and in the middle of the monotony, my friend sends me a text – “and what were you doing Oct 29th, 2008?”

    Almost made me cry – I certainly stopped for a bit and reflected. I want that feeling again, and again and again. I think this Phillies team can do it – 2 former MVP’s, probable CYA winner this year, an all-star studded offense – and like Andrew said, these guys are in their “primes”.

  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    You have to give this guy at least a 7.5 rating for the season that he did have putting up with a painful elbow thanks to getting hit by a pitch from Tim Hudson. Is truly a “gamer”.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    @Andrew: But six of the best Phillies team ever missed significant playing time this season and Charlie had rely on his back-ups and utility players to grind it out until the injuries ended.

    You can’t just look at this team on paper and then look at the result and call this a disappointing season. You’re missing the human element, the injuries and the slumps and things like “The Ballad of Wilson Valdez: SS, 3B, and 2B” and “Left Fielder Roy Oswalt” and the Game of Halladay’s Groin.

    These guys did everything they could, gave it all they possibly could. Yes, it all fell apart in Game 6 of the NLCS, which in my opinion was the only TRUE and complete disappointment of this season, but to say the entire season was a disappointment is selling this team far too short.

    Remember when everyone was saying that our season was going to come down to that last series against Atlanta in Atlanta? Well, it did. Their season, not ours.

    A season with a September like September 2010 cannot be called a disappointment.

    Games 1, 2, and 6 were a disappointment.

    The 2010 Phillies season was spectacular.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    *Whoops, that would be Games 1, 3, and 6. My bad.

  • Posts: 0 biz


    What did these guys give Utley again?

    Polly had a much better season than Chase. Not even comparable.

  • Posts: 0 biz

    Polanco was hitting .325 in late August.

    We’re talking about a possible batting crown if he never takes that Hudson pitch off of his elbow.

    Polanco is the very definition of a number 2 hitter. He doesn’t K and he can hit the ball to the right side of the field on cue. And that’s just what he does.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    What biz said, both times.

    This is the guy who should have gotten a higher score than Howard, not Utley.

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