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Moving On Up: Jorge Polanco

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The youth movement has begun in Minnesota, and Polanco is as ready for a big league trial as anyone in the system. What does that mean in the here and now?

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Last night, it was reported that Trevor Plouffe would be heading to the disabled list, and Jorge Polanco would be replacing him on the 25-man roster. It was seen as a matter of 'when' and not 'if' he would get the call, given his solid play throughout the minors and in a couple of brief Major League stints, so it is not surprising that he would receive this opportunity. Before delving any further into his profile, here is what Matt Powers had to say about Polanco in our Twins top-ten prospects list:

Jorge Polanco is a solid prospect that can stick at short or possibly move to second. He's not the potential impact guy that Gordon is, but he could still be an above average player that hits .280 with 5-10 homers and 20 steals. That's not a bad prospect at all, but at the same time he might be more valuable to the Twins than your fantasy team. I'm not going to own Polanco except in very deep leagues and AL only leagues because of that.

The consensus on Polanco as a prospect is solid, yet mostly uninspiring. His ceiling is mostly seen as an average regular at either second or short, with the contact skills to hit .270-plus, and enough power and speed to flirt with double-digits in both home runs and steals. Polanco's defense is generally regarded as 'good enough' at short, though his arm is a bit light for the position. That being said, there are some out there that are quite high on him - notably Keith Law, who believes he could be an above-average regular at second or third base with a .340 OBP, 12 to 15 bombs, and a "ton of contact."

Polanco's ability to play third base is the key right now, given Plouffe's status on the disabled list. Second base is occupied by Brian Dozier, and Eduardo Escobar has been a solid-average shortstop for a couple of years now (and he's still just 27). His only obstacle to playing time at third is the stone-handed Eduardo Nunez ... which shouldn't be an obstacle at all. Polanco has not played third base at any level since 2011 (when he was just 17), but, for a team in the Twins position, it makes sense to let him learn on the job.

For the time being, I suspect that Polanco will have an opportunity to play third base regularly until Plouffe returns from the DL. Should he perform well, I would be shocked if the Twins didn't demote Nunez, allowing Polanco to serve as their utility player for the remainder of the season (or take over for one of Dozier, Plouffe, and Escobar, should the need arise). With enough playing time, he has the ability to chip in a bit in most every fantasy category.