By Jason Shetler
Tito…….Polo…….Tito…….Polo…….It’s become one of the catchiest names in all of minor league baseball. After signing Harold Ramirez out of Colombia in 2011, the Pirates signed Tito Polo from there the following year. Polo spent 2012 and 2013 playing in the Dominican Summer League where he combined for a .378 on base percentage. In 2014, his on base with the Gulf Coast League Pirates was nearly the same at .374. Polo played his first full season last year for the West Virginia Power, but couldn’t seem to adjust, posting just a .313 OBP. Despite the offensive struggles in 2015, he stole 46 bases, which was the most of any Pirates minor leaguer, and the fourth highest total in the South Atlantic League.
On Friday, Polo got an opportunity to start for the Pirates in Fort Myers against the Boston Red Sox. It was a night to remember for the 21-year-old outfielder, as recorded two hits including an RBI double off five-time All-Star and former Cy Young winner David Price. Since most Pirates fans now know who Polo is, can he become an impact prospect?
Anytime a player can steal almost 50 bases in a season like Polo did last year, it definitely will open some eyes. His 2015 season seemed very “Billy Hamilton esque”, stealing a ton of bases despite having a low on base mark. Polo’s speed also gives him above average range defensively, and he can hold his own as a center fielder. Even with a down year last season, he’s still young enough to improve as a prospect. If Polo is able to translate his high on base ability from 2012 to 2014 over the course of a full season with his phenomenal speed, then he certainly has a chance to become an impact prospect in the Pirates system.