Player: Placido Polanco
Acquired: signed in early December to a three-year, $18 million deal.
2009 Stats: (w/ Detroit) 153 games, 618 AB, 82 R, 176 H, 10 HR, 72 RBI, .285 AVG, .331 OBP, .396 SLG
Intangibles: Not only is Polanco a tough guy to strike out (recorded a career high 46 strikeouts last season) but he a great fielder, winning his second Gold Glove at second base last season. His .285 last year was the lowest average he’s recorded since 1999 but should be able to get that back up in an offense that surrounds him with opportunities. He was a fan favorite when in Philadelphia and the fans are thrilled to have him back.
Expectations: He is going to bat second in the line-up, bumping Shane Victorino to the end of the order to add a spark. Polanco’s 2009 campaign was very similar to Victorino’s. Though Victorino’s average, hits, runs, and OBP were higher, Polanco’s knack for not striking out, something Victorino struggled with, is what earned him the two-hole spot. I expect a .290 average with 6-10 homers, about 60-70 RBI’s, and a dramatic increase in runs-scored with Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez all batting behind him.