Polanco again took his position in front of The Clemente Wall on Tuesday, having also hit his way into Roberto Clemente territory. A 9-for-17 series against the Marlins made Polanco the first Pittsburgh player to begin his career with a six-game hitting streak since The Great One, in 1955.
"Yes, I was told about that. That makes me very proud," said Polanco, who, gradually and predictably, is getting rid of the training wheels and playing with more abandon.
"I'm getting more confident and after a few games like [the ones in Miami], I feel less pressure," the 22-year-old said.
Polanco was definitely not speaking for opposition defensive players. At his height (6-foot-4), Polanco does not look fast. When his long legs take those long strides, he is a blur, as infielders will quickly learn. Marlins second baseman Rafael Furcal was forced to be a quick study, being on the gasping end of two of Polanco's three infield hits in that series.
"I know he got Furcal's attention," manager Clint Hurdle said. "There were plays he laid out [to make diving stops in the hole] on Polanco, and everybody but Polanco is out."
The only negative of Polanco's return to Pittsburgh is that he had to again separate from his mom, who has returned to the Dominican Republic after surprising him in Miami. They will soon reunite -- Polanco said that once he is settled in an apartment here, his mom will come and live with him.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.