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Draft or Pass: Jorge Polanco A Strong Value Play With Speed Category Potential

With a minor improvement to his steals category, Polanco will challenge to perform as a high-end SS2. SI Fantasy expert Jaime Eisner is leaning towards growth.

The still-to-be-determined start of the 2020 MLB season has added an interesting wrinkle to fantasy baseball draft prep. We here at SI Fantasy want to provide you with the best information possible heading into your drafts in these unprecedented times.

Our "Draft or Pass" video series takes a closer look at a fantasy player that will be debated often leading up to fantasy drafts, in many cases, because of the delayed start to the season. Are our hosts targeting this player specifically? Are they avoiding him entirely?

Today's video focuses on Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco.

Draft or Pass at current ADP: 148.6 (SS21)?

Polanco broke out last season with 107 runs, 22 home runs, 79 RBI, 4 steals, and a .295 batting average. Going back a little further, he's been rock-solid since returning from his 80-game PED suspension in July of 2018. He finished 14th among all shortstops on ESPN's player rater last season and should be able to replicate his stats (aside from runs) in 2020, in prorated fashion. When the season starts, I expect Polanco to hit second, in front of Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson, in a potent Twins offense.

Diving into my preseason projections, I had Polanco down for 90 runs, 20 home runs, 80 RBI, 6 stolen bases, and a .280 batting average in 596 at-bats. That shows a slight dip in runs and batting average, but everything else pretty much stays the same.

Polanco's 90 runs ranked 11th among all SS-eligible players in my projections. His 20 HRs ranked 17th, his 80 RBI ranked 12th, and his .280 batting average ranked tied for 10th. Steals are a significant concern, especially since he flat-out stopped doing it in the second half of the season. Still, he can essentially compete with the SS1s in the other four categories at a price barely inside the Top 150. Polanco ranks as my No. 18 SS and No. 119 overall player.

READ MORE: 2020 Minnesota Twins Fantasy Team Preview