Placido Enrique Polanco
None (Santa Clara High School, Santo Domingo, DR)
1994, 19th Round, St. Louis Cardinals
.303 Avg, 90 HRs, 579 RBI, .761 OPS, 98 OPS+
2 time Gold Glove winner (2007, 2009)
2006 ALCS MVP
2007 AL All-Star
2007 Silver Slugger
1st in at bats/strikeout (2006-2008)
Best Tiger Season
At his worst, Placido Polanco is a guy who will hit .285, move runners along, and not strike out much. In 2007, Polly was at his best. He hit .341 with nine homers and 67 RBI. Polanco’s first gold glove was won along with his errorless streak record for a second baseman in ‘07. His OBP was .458, a career high. And he hit 36 doubles and only struck out 30 times in 587 at bats.
Hits ability to make contact is something the Tigers are really going to miss in 2010 more than I think most people realize.
Little Known Fact
Albert Pujols is the godfather of Placido’s son, Ismael.
Reason For Being On The List
Have you seen the shape of his head? Awesome. How could he not be on this list?
Well, on top of that, the guy was really good for us over four years. We traded jailbird/murderer Ugueth Urbina to Philly for him, not realizing what a treat he would be as a player to watch. Polanco always seemed to be on base, he was great in the field, and a good guy in the clubhouse.
Like many people on this list, though, Polly’s true legacy to me as a Tiger will be for his play in 2006. In the playoffs, he hit .412 against the Yankees and .529 against the A’s to get us to the World Series, winning the ALCS MVP along the way. Granted, against the stupid Cardinals, Polanco would go 0-17, a level of suck that not even Brandon Inge could pull off. But considering what he did to get the Tigers to that point, it’s something that I, and I think most Tiger fans, easily forgave him for.
While not one of the biggest, best, or charismatic Tigers of the last 25 years, Placido Polanco was a guy who you couldn’t help rooting for.
What Happened To Him?
Sigh. Mr. Potato Head signed himself a deal with the NL Champion Phillies and looks to be their third baseman the next two years. This upsets me not because the man has moved on, but for the fact that we had a cripple playing third for months last year when Polly could have been there. Also, the Tigers could have seen what they have in unproven rookie Scott Sizemore a year sooner. Oh, well.
At least he didn’t end up with the Twins, an early rumor of the offseason. That would have been difficult to swallow.
Good luck in Philly, Polly. With those fans, you’re going to need it.
Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Google.