Mark LoMoglio

Here's a scouting report on Tampa Yankees outfielder Tito Polo.

The Yankees acquired outfielder Tito Polo from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016 in the Ivan Nova deal. Originally signed out of Colombia back in 2012, he has steadily improved to become one of the better rounded five-tool prospects despite his smaller stature.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Tito Polo
Position: Outfield
DOB:  August 23, 1994
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 185
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Batting and Power. Polo, despite his shorter size, actually already has nearly average now power and it's mostly due to his great bat speed.  Built like a fire hydrant, he is physically strong too but combining that with one of the quicker bats around and with some natural loft in his swing makes the power a bit surprising overall.  Not overly aggressive at the plate but yet not overly patient either, he walks that fine line pretty well, especially for somebody coming from a country that isn't exactly a baseball hotbed.  The average patience and pitch recognition have taken some time to develop over the years and it appears there could be some more development in both regards as he continues to mature at the plate, but he still will swing at a few too many pitches out of the zone.  He's a good solid hitter now but one who may not be done being as good as he can be either. 

Base Running and Speed. Polo can really run.  He is an above average, borderline plus runner speed-wise but one who still makes far too many base running gaffes for somebody with his kind of speed.  Even running station to station where few can match him physically he can still run his team into outs a bit more often than he should.  He's a great athlete with very good speed but one who is still learning the nuances of reading pitchers' moves better.  He can steal 30-plus easily on speed alone but it could be and really should be more as often as he runs.

Defense. Polo's speed makes him on asset on paper in centerfield and for the most part he can make nearly any play asked of him.  The arm strength though is average so while he has the speed and instincts to man centerfield in an everyday capacity he is probably better served sliding over to left field where he would be more of a sure-fire plus defender.  He can play all three outfield spots though in more than serviceable fashion.

Projection. With above average to plus speed, a tick near average power, solid hitting ability that doesn't appear done being harnessed yet, and an ability to play all three outfield positions quite well, Polo has all of the makings of a solid big league fourth outfielder type.  However, the more at-bats he has gotten over the years the more consistent a player he has become and combining that with that little extra untapped ceiling in the hitting department gives him decent big league starting potential too.  He has steadily improved over the years and should that trend continue it would be unwise to pigeon-hole him into just a reserve role. A little Brett Gardner-like as a shorter but yet stronger player, Polo, who also physically resembles former big leaguer Ron Gant, has enough surprising juice in his swing to potentially force his way into more playing time once he gets to the big leagues initially as a reserve player and then proves himself.   

ETA. 2018. Still just 22 years old [and will be for a majority of the 2017 season], Polo is poised to get his Double-A test this coming season even if he has to begin back in the Florida State League.  If he can prove to be the same player this coming year or even better it may not be long before he gets his big league shot.

2016 Tampa .250 8 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 .333 .250 .583
2016 Bradenton .276 214 3 4 28 40 21 47 17 .351 .346 .697
2016 West Virginia .302 225 14 12 37 46 13 47 20 .368 .551 .919
2015 West Virginia .236 360 20 3 26 51 28 77 46 .313 .328 .641
2014 GCL Pirates .291 158 8 3 25 30 17 34 8 .374 .475 .848
2013 DSL Pirates .275 160 3 2 16 29 15 41 22 .352 .369 .721
2012 DSL Pirates .298 121 7 2 26 26 16 28 17 .427 .421 .848

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