NPB: Dominican OF Gregory Polanco Returning to Chiba Lotte Marines in ’24

Gregory Polanco of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on from the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game at PNC Park on August 24, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Dominican outfielder Gregory Polanco re-signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines for the 2024 Nippon Professional Baseball regular season, Yahoo Japan News reported on Thursday. 

Polanco, 32, was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and will play in his third season in NPB after playing with the Yomiuri Giants in 2022 and the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2023. 

Polanco helped the Chiba Lotte Marines reach second place in the Pacific League with a 70-68-5 record in 2023. The Marines made it to the Pacific League Championship Series and lost to the Orix Buffaloes in four games.

Last season, Polanco hit the most home runs in the NPB by a foreign player, with 26. He played in 125 games, batting .242 with 108 hits, 15 doubles, 75 RBI, 47 walks, 92 strikeouts, and a .762 OPS. 

In 2022 with the Yomiuri Giants, Polanco played 138 games hitting, .240 with 105 hits, 21 doubles, one triple, 24 home runs, 58 RBI, 42 walks, 109 strikeouts, and a .762 OPS. 

In 2021, his last season in Major League Baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Polanco played in 107 games with 70 hits, 12 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs, 36 RBI, 14 stolen bases, 36 walks, 104 strikeouts, and a .637 OPS.  

Polanco made his MLB debut on June 10, 2014 and played eight seasons in Pittsburgh from 2014-21. Polanco was with the Pirates organization for 12 professional seasons after signing as an international free agent on May 29, 2009. 

In eight seasons in MLB, Polanco has played in 823 games with a lifetime average of .241 and 696 hits, 156 doubles, 19 triples, 96 home runs, 362 RBI, 98 stolen bases, 287 walks, 694 strikeouts, and a .718 OPS. 

The Chiba Lotte Marines will play their first game of the 2024 NPB regular season on the road against the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters at Es Con Field on March 29. All 12 NPB teams will report to training camp during the middle of January for the 2024 regular season. 

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