Polanco first strutted stuff as teenager in Dominican

Gregory Polanco, right fielder, Pirates
Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Polanco is one of six members of the Pirates' 40-man roster who hails from the Dominican Republic, and the 23-year-old is one of three who was born in Santo Domingo.

The lanky outfielder was signed by Pirates scouts Rene Gayo and Ellis Pena. Polanco played his first professional season in 2009, hitting .306 in the Dominican Summer League.

He came to the United States as an 18-year-old and played the 2010 season with the Bucs' affiliate in the Gulf Coast League. He escalated quickly through the Pirates' farm system before making his much-anticipated Major League debut on June 10 this season.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.