Who is Eybersson Polanco? Get to know the Red Sox’ Latin Program Pitcher of the Year

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)


Armando Sierra, Eybersson Polanco represent Red Sox in Dominican Summer League All-Star Game

A pair of young prospects represented the Red Sox in the 2022 Dominican Summer League All-Star Game in San Cristobal on Sunday.

Armando Sierra served as the American League’s starting first baseman and went 0-for-2 with a flyout and groundout before being replaced at first base by Astros prospect Waner Luciano in the middle of the fifth inning.

Eybersson Polanco, on the other hand, retired all three batters he faced in a scoreless third inning while also striking out one. Interestingly enough, the game ultimately ended in a 6-6 tie.

Sierra, 18, originally signed with the Red Sox for $150,000 as an international free-agent coming out of Sabana Grande de Palenque in January 2021. The 6-foot-2, 189-pounder has proven capable of playing first base and both corner outfield positions thus far into his professional career.

In 35 games with Boston’s Dominican Summer League Blue affiliate this season, the right-handed hitting Sierra has batted a stout .323/.395/.489 with 13 doubles, three home runs, 36 RBIs, 31 runs scored, one stolen base, 15 walks, and 14 strikeouts over 152 plate appearances.

Among qualified DSL hitters, Sierra currently ranks ninth in runs scored, second in doubles, first in RBIs, and ninth in strikeout rate (9.2%), per MiLB.com’s leaderboards.

Polanco, also 18, signed with Boston approximately six months after Sierra did as an international free-agent coming out of Venezuela. The right-hander received a signing bonus of $50,000.

Listed at 6-foot and 170 pounds, Polanco made his professional debut for the DSL Red Sox Red last month and has since posted a 2.03 ERA and 3.00 FIP to go along with 29 strikeouts to 10 walks over seven starts spanning 26 2/3 innings of work.

Among DSL hurlers who have pitched at least 20 innings to this point in the season, Polanco currently ranks 60th in strikeout rate (28.7%), 26th in batting average against (.156), 31st in WHIP (0.90), 55th in ERA, 40th in FIP, and 55th in xFIP (3.51), according to FanGraphs.

(Picture of Dominican Republic flags: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)