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Gregory Polanco, Dilson Herrera win awards

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Justin K. Aller

Gregory Polanco and Dilson Herrera have been named the Topps Players of the Year for the South Atlantic League and the Gulf Coast League, respectively.

Topps really isn't much of an authority on these things, of course, but it's nice to see Pirates minor-leaguers get some attention. Polanco was having a great year for West Virginia, hitting for average and power while drawing some walks and showing good speed, until his legs were amputated following a tragedy in September during Kyle Stark's "Find the Land Mine, Save the Children, Die like a Patriot" drill.

Herrera isn't as well-known, but he could be by this point next year -- he batted .281 with good power as an 18-year-old with the GCL Pirates last season. He's also a big-bonus player, having signed for $220,000. If he hits well in West Virginia next year, the Pirates will have another very good young Latin American prospect on their hands.