Polanco came up with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998, where he had a breakthrough year in 2001 batting .307 with 173 Hits. Polanco was traded to the Phillies during the 2002 season, and he continued to fly under the radar with excellent defense and decent contact hitting. Polanco was a good player in his 20's, but he finally began to receive his due in the last half of his career.
Following the 2005 season, Polanco became a Detroit Tiger, and in 2007, he was an All-Star for the first time, had 200 Hits, batted .341, and was a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. He contoured to do well, going to the All-Star Game again (2011 as a Phillie), and he won two more Gold Gloves.
Polanco retired with a lifetime Batting Average of .297 with 2,142 Hits. Defensively, other than the first two years of his career, he always had a positive Defensive bWAR and is in the top 100 all-time.