Most of us likely recall the way McCutchen, Bruce, and Rasmus were built up as a cohort when they first came up. I assume there will be similar talk over the next few years about Polanco and Taveras. I was surprised to see OT make a recent Fangraphs article regarding the Top 10 Prospects Who Could Contribute in 2014 but to see Polanco omitted. I took a look at a few quick factors comparing the two prospects and thought I'd share here (all MiLB hitting environment information via http://www.hardballtimes.com/minor-league-run-environments/ ):
RetireNutting says: May 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm
RE: Taveras being on here, Polanco not.
Sure, Oscar’s 9 months younger than Polanco. He also had a lot more success in AA (159 wRC+ to Polanco’s 112). But let’s talk about two factors: 1) defensive value and 2) MiLB run environments.
1) Oliver loves Polanco’s defense. Absolutely loves it and projects him at 14.8 D value over the next 5 years. Taveras gets 1.4 during that same timespan.
2) In talking through run environment, let’s just use AA and AAA #s for brevity’s sake. OT’s numbers came in relatively neutral Texas League and hitter-friendly PCL in AA and AAA, respectively. Polanco’s #s came from relatively pitching-friendly Eastern League and International League at AA and AAA, respectively. Taveras has the edge in wRC+ at AA and in sample size (159 to 112) and GP takes the lead at AAA (196 to 123).
In summation, Taveras *may possibly* be a better hitting prospect than GP but, due to run environment and this year’s numbers, he very well may not be. Even if OT *is* a better hitting prospect than GP, he’d have to be substantially better to overcome his comparative defensive (and I didn’t even mention baserunning) deficiencies. Let’s also mention the nagging injuries he’s had. I think a case could be made that Polanco is the better prospect.
**I am a Pirates fan