A superstar emerged in the world of Major League Baseball in 2015 and his name was A.J. Pollock. The center fielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks was on his way to that status last year but a Johnny Cueto fastball to the wrist put a stop to that. This year, Pollock was selected to his first All-Star Game and finished in the top ten of several offensive categories. Let’s reflect on Pollock’s season, one in which he and Paul Goldschmidt established themselves as one of the most dangerous 1-2 punches in the sport.
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Where do you start? Pollock fell one double and one home run short of 40-40-20, as in 40 doubles, 40 stolen bases and 20 home runs. He would have been the only one to reach that impressive milestone. Pollock scored 111 runs, second in the National League behind Bryce Harper‘s 118 and hit .315, good for fifth. He was named NL Player of the Week for games between August 17th and August 23rd. That is the week where he went an unbelievable 11 for 15 during a series in Cincinnati. The 27-year old Pollock became such a force that manager Chip Hale often hit Pollock behind Goldschmidt in the lineup and he still produced.
Was there anything bad about Pollock’s season? Oh right, he started the year 2 for 13. I mean, really what else did he do wrong in 2015? All hitters go through slumps, even the great Goldschmidt. Pollock stayed hot all year, never going more than three games without a hit.
Did we mention Pollock plays Gold Glove-caliber defense? If you were to name a team MVP for Arizona in 2015, it would be splitting hairs between Goldschmidt and Pollock. My choice would be the latter because there is a bit more of a premium placed on defense in center field than first base. I feel bad just even writing that there should be Snakes’ MVP other than Goldy. However, that’s how much of a great campaign Pollock had. 2016 will be different. Pollock is now expected to produce. A lot of the D-backs’ success next year will be tied to whether or not he can. For 2015, he was perfect. Give him a 10.