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Curve happy for Polanco

June 11, 2014
By Matt Michelone (sports@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

Gregory Polanco's promotion to Pittsburgh wasn't just welcome news to Pirates fans.

Some of his former teammates with the Curve were also celebrating his call-up to the big leagues.

"I thought it should've been sooner," infielder Jarek Cunningham said. "The numbers he's put up, he's deserved it the entire year so far, so I was just glad that it happened for him."

Polanco became the 115th player in Curve history to reach the majors in Tuesday night's game with Chicago. This season at Triple-A Indianapolis he hit .347, with seven home runs, 49 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.

"It was due," pitcher Nick Kingham said. "He deserves to be up there, so nothing but good things to say about him."

Last season the outfielder put up a batting average of .263, recorded six homers and drove in 43 runs with the Curve before getting called up to Triple-A.

Polanco did come up through the system playing center field, but with Andrew McCutchen in the lineup it required him to move to the corner.

"Moving over to right field was a big step for him," Kingham said of Polanco's position change. "Everybody wants to play center field because that's the most glorious position in the outfield, but he took it good, and tried his hardest to get better."

Curve manager Carlos Garcia couldn't have been happier for the organization's top prospect.

"I'm proud of him," he said. "(I'm) proud of the organization, proud of everyone who come in contact with him, to help develop him as a human being and as a baseball player. We're just happy for the kid."

Cunningham felt that Polanco's ability to do what other players can't help to set him apart and will grab people's attention.

"Everything he does is something you haven't seen from any other player," Cunningham said. "He's special, everything he's going to do is special, and he is going to open a lot of eyes."

Kingham believes that Polanco has a chance to become popular among the fans, and will enjoy a long career.

"He's going to be a special player," Kingham said. "He's going to play a lot of time in the big leagues. He's going to be a fan favorite here pretty soon and he's well-deserved to be up there."

Garcia has been impressed with Polanco's maturity, and thinks he will be able to make the adjustments to stay on the Pirate roster.

"He's the kind of kid that nothing intimidates him," Garcia said. "He's going to have to make adjustments in order to stay there, and I have no doubt he'll be able to do that."

 
 
 

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