El Coffee sizzling at the plate of late

El Coffee sizzling at the plate of late

PITTSBURGH -- If Jameson Taillon can eventually do what Gregory Polanco has done so far, the Pirates will have developed two of their biggest prospects in recent years.

Polanco rose through the Pirates' farm system from 2009-2014, making his Major League debut in June 2014. After three seasons in Pittsburgh, the Pirates signed Polanco to a five-year contract with $35 million guaranteed.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Polanco and other #ASGWorthy players

Even in the Pirates' 6-5 10-inning loss to the Mets on Wednesday, Polanco's three doubles further prove why that decision was made.

"Special to watch him tonight," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's doing some things that grab your attention. The doubles, even the outs. The ball coming off the bats, finishing swings. They've been pretty."

Polanco leads the National League and is third in the Majors with 21 doubles. He hit his first career grand slam in Miami last week and batted .317 in May.

Minor injuries to center fielder Andrew McCutchen and left fielder Starling Marte have meant Polanco has had to be flexible with his position in the outfield lately. As Hurdle pointed out, that challenge has helped Polanco grow as a player.

"There's not a facet of his game that hasn't gotten better in the time that he's been here," Hurdle said.

Maybe there's more of that to go around.

Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.