In similar fashion to Andy Lugo, Eybersson Polanco was named the Red Sox’ Latin Program Pitcher of the Year last month.
Polanco, 19, made 12 starts for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox Red this season. The right-hander posted a 1.78 ERA and 2.96 FIP to go along with 50 strikeouts to 17 walks over 50 2/3 innings of work. He led his team in strikeouts and WHIP (0.95) and represented them in the Dominican Summer League All-Star Game in July.
Among 31 qualified DSL pitchers this year, Polanco ranked 15th in walks per nine innings (3.02), 13th in strikeout rate (25.8%), fourth in batting average against (.177), fifth in WHIP, 13th in groundball rate (46.2%), fourth in ERA, third in FIP, and 11th in xFIP (3.42), per FanGraphs.
Like Lugo, there is not much information available on Polanco since he only just completed his first professional season. The Red Sox originally signed the 6-foot, 170-pound righty out of Venezuela last July. He received a $50,000 bonus while fellow countryman Jedixson Paez netted $450,000, making him the highest-paid pitcher from the club’s 2021 international signing class.
Paez, who earned Latin Program Pitcher of the Year last season, was signed by Angel Escobar in January 2021. Polanco, on the other hand, was signed by Lenin Rodriguez six months later.
Given that he just turned 19 in September, it feels safe to assume that Polanco still has plenty of room to grow. That applies to his physical maturation, mechanics, and pitch arsenal, among other things.
Polanco is projected by SoxProspects.com to make the jump to the Florida Complex League in 2023. Paez made strides in Fort Myers this year and is now regarded by the site as the No. 12 pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system. Perhaps Polanco can do the same beginning next summer.
(Picture of Eybersson Polanco via his Facebook)