Although the financial benefits of micromanaging call-ups can be considerable, teams run a real risk by letting weeks or months go by before putting their top talent on the field. In 2011, Tampa Bay Rays left fielders other than Desmond Jennings hit .246/.302/.392, but the Rays waited until July 23 to call up Jennings, their top hitting prospect at the time. Jennings hit .259/.356/.449, a vast improvement over his predecessors, and Tampa Bay won the wild card by one game.
What is Gregory Polanco worth? at FanGraphs:
But is [the Pirates' reported offer to Polanco] a match for, or at least close to, what Polanco should expect to earn during his arbitration years? Predicting future salaries is difficult, as you not only have to predict future performance but also how the arbitration market is going to go, and how much inflation we might see in the future. So, instead of looking forward and making guesses, let’s look backwards and see what other prospects in Polanco’s range made during their first seven years of team control.
In the first story, Ben Lindbergh looks at how the Pirates and Rays handle prospects vs. how teams like the Braves and Marlins have handled Jason Heyward and Jose Fernandez, and what the ramifications of that are. In the second, Dave Cameron tries to determine what Gregory Polanco might make in arbitration if he doesn’t sign with the Pirates (hint: more than the Pirates offered him). Both very interesting reads that I’d recommend to you.
With all of the national media attention on Polanco to go along with the pre-season hype and the Pirate fans going crazy, I think Polanco might be the most anticipated prospect in Pirate history.