Desperately in need of a competent bat in the corner outfield, the Pirates turn to Polanco, a center fielder by trade (56 percent of his minor league starts have come in center). He's been manning right field in Triple-A and the same can be assumed for his major league role, with Andrew McCutchen in center and Starling Marte in left. Pirates' right fielders have put together a .257/.313/.350 slash line; paltry production (especially in terms of power) when compared to the league average of .256/.321/.401, so even with an expected adjustment period, Polanco should provide an improvement for Pittsburgh.
Polanco, 22, made news earlier this year when Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan reported that he turned down seven-year contract with three club options that would have guaranteed him $25 million. Agreeing to that deal likely would have meant a major league call-up for Polanco, something that was likely a motivating factor for Jonathan Singleton. Polanco was also part of the Hoka Hey controversy, reported on by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Dejan Kovacevic, when he re-injured his ankle "sprinting through an above-ground pool filled with ice water" less than two months after his season ended early due to an ankle injury.
Polanco is the oft-mentioned and rarely seen five-tool player, with the ability to impact the game in the field as well as at the plate. His swing can get a bit long at the plate, but it allows him to hit for power and has yet to hinder his ability to hit for power in the minor leagues. Whether that's something major league pitchers can exploit remains to be seen.
There are some conflicting reports as to whether Polanco will be up on Friday, but the overwhelming majority indicate that he will be.