Many Tigers are starting to get noticed more nationally with the team leading the AL Central for another year and this time with some offense. Magglio Ordonez is making a run for MVP but a bit more quietly Polanco continues to be a key member in the 2-spot in the lineup.
Everyone in Detroit knows how important he is to this team and now folks elsewhere are starting to discover this as well. Jason Stark at ESPN.com put Polanco at #7 of the top 10 underrated players and summed up Placido’s contributions in a good way, if not so technical:
The best way to describe Polanco, though, isn’t with any number. It’s with that word, “winner.” He’s one of those “glue” players. He glues your team together with all those little things he does. And the 2006-07 Tigers are a walking testimonial to that. Then again, so is his inclusion on this prestigious list.
Baseball Prospectus similarly listed him in an add-on to their top 50 most valuable players.
The Case For: I received a rather sarcastic e-mail asking why Placido Polnaco wasnâ€™t in the Top 50; I assumed that it was a joke, but another one came in a day later. He is hitting .333 this year, and plays outstanding second base defense.
The Case Against: Heâ€™s into his 30s, his VORP last year as 7.9, and slowish players who rely on batting average donâ€™t tend to age well.
The Verdict: Iâ€™m a Tiger fan so thereâ€™s no hate here; Polanco has been an underrated player for a long time. But heâ€™s this yearâ€™s version of Freddy Sanchez.
It is quite nice to see Placido go noticed even if it is for going unnoticed.