The Pittsburgh Pirates are cruising here through two weeks in the 2018 season. They sit at 9-3 after taking Thursday's game over the Cubs and definitely qualify as one of the biggest surprises to this point in the season.

A big part of that is right fielder Gregory Polanco. He went deep twice in Thursday's win: 

Take note on the second one in particular there, when he took a lefty deep to opposite field. That's a rather impressive feat. 

Through 11 games this season, Polanco is hitting .262/.385/.714 with four doubles, five homers and 15 RBI. Many people still look first at the batting average, but everything else about Polanco's line is great. Plus, his .231 batting average on balls in play (against a career .288 BABIP) suggests his overall batting average is due to rise pretty soon, too. 

We've been waiting for a huge Polanco season for a while. First off, he just looks the part. An impressive physical specimen, he stands 6-foot-5 with a sturdy and muscular frame. He has one of those smooth-but-powerful lefty swings that is pretty sweet to watch. He can run and has a good arm, so really he seems like he has the ingredients of a five-tool superstar. 

Many believed it to be true early in his career. Prior to the 2014 season, Polanco was ranked as the 10th-best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America. He hit .328/.390/.504 with 17 doubles, five triples, seven homers and 16 steals in 69 Triple-A games that season, earning his first trip to the majors. 

Polanco was only 22 his rookie year. In recent years, we've probably been spoiled to see players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, among many others, excel at such a young age to the point that we can grow impatient when someone like Polanco seems to take longer to, for lack of a better term, "figure things out." 

Heading into this season, Polanco was a career .252/.315/.401 (93 OPS+) career hitter. He's shown flashes, sure. He had 34 doubles, 22 homers and 17 steals in 2016, but that was only a 107-OPS+ and 1.8-WAR season. Last year, in just 108 games, Polanco hit .251/.305/.391. Yes, a low OBP and a sub-.400 slugging from a corner outfielder. 

The early returns this year are awesome, but also extremely early. There's at least some reason for optimism. Polanco has walked in 17 percent of his plate appearances. That figure last year was 6.6 percent, and he's never walked more than 9.6 percent of the time in a season. Note above that it's not like he's been extremely fortunate with a BABIP-driven average. 

Also, there's a good chance he's joining in on the launch angle craze, because roughly half of his batted balls this year have been fly balls. His previous flyball percentage high in a season was 37.5 percent. 

All early-season caveats apply, obviously. We've only seen the Pirates play 7.4 percent of their season. That's a lot of time left for Polanco to fall into old habits, stop hitting home runs and produce another less-than-stellar season. His track record says that's a very distinct possibility.

It's just that when we see someone with Polanco's physical tools get off to a start like this that at least seems moderately sustainable (aside from the HR pace, which drives the .714 slugging, of course), we can't help but wonder if we're seeing the breakout season we've long thought was coming.