A. J. Pollock
Pollock with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 11
Outfielder
Born: (1987-12-05) December 5, 1987 (age 33)
Hebron, Connecticut
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 18, 2012, for the Arizona Diamondbacks
MLB statistics
(through 2021 season)
Batting average.281
Home runs126
Runs batted in414
Stolen bases119
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Allen Lorenz "A. J." Pollock (born December 5, 1987) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played college baseball for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Pollock in the first round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft. He made his MLB debut with the Diamondbacks in 2012. Pollock was an MLB All-Star and won a Gold Glove Award in 2015.

Early life

A. J. Pollock was born in Hebron, Connecticut to parents Al and Karen Pollock.[1] His family lived an hour and forty minutes away from Foxboro, Massachusetts, and Pollock and his father would routinely make the trip to watch New England Patriots' home games.[2]

Pollock attended RHAM High School in his hometown of Hebron, Connecticut. At RHAM High, Pollock played basketball, soccer, and baseball.[3] In his senior year, Pollock was a member of the National Honor Society. That year, he was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Connecticut, receiving the most votes for a Connecticut player since 1974, and was also named the state's Player of the Year by the coaches' association. Pollock finished his high school baseball career with a .411 batting average, 55 runs batted in (RBIs), 26 walks, 27 stolen bases, and eight strikeouts over 248 at bats.[4]

College career

Pollock attended the University of Notre Dame, where he played college baseball for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as an outfielder and third baseman. Pollock was named a Freshman All-American, leading the team with a .372 batting average. Pollock was rated by Baseball America before his sophomore season as the league's second-best 2009 MLB prospect and best pure hitter. During his sophomore season, Pollock hit .352 and led the team in hitting and stolen bases and was a First-Team All-Big East Conference as a center fielder. After the 2008 season, he played collegiate summer baseball for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League, where he hit .377 and was named MVP of the league.[5][6] In his junior season at Notre Dame, Pollock hit .365, had an on-base percentage of .443, and a slugging percentage of .610. Pollock also made no errors in 159 chances and stole 21 bases in 25 tries. Pollock became second player ever to lead the team in batting average for three consecutive years.[7][8]

Professional career

Arizona Diamondbacks

Pollock with the Reno Aces in 2012
Pollock with the Reno Aces in 2012

The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Pollock in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft.[9]

The Diamondbacks invited Pollock to spring training in 2010. He broke his right elbow while attempting to make a diving catch.[10][11] Pollock missed the entire season due to the injury.

Pollock was called up to the majors for the first time on April 18, 2012, and made his debut that day.[12] Batting as a pinch hitter for Justin Upton, Pollock collected his first career MLB hit, a single, on April 23 against the Phillies. He played in 31 games that season for the Diamondbacks, batting .247 with two home runs and eight RBIs.[citation needed]

In 2013, Pollock batted .269 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs the course of 137 games.[13]

Pollock missed the second half of the 2014 season with an injury.[14] Up to that point in the season, he was batting .302.[13]

In 2015, he was named a National League All-Star.[15] He ended the season batting .315 with 20 home runs and 76 RBIs. He led the National League in power-speed number (26.4).[16] Pollock signed to a two-year contract extension worth $10.25 million on February 8, 2016.[17] Pollock broke his right elbow again at the end of spring training, this time on a slide at home plate, and missed most of the 2016 season.[10][11] In the 12 games he would appear in during the 2016 season, Pollock would record 10 hits on 41 at bats, a .244 batting average.[13]

On May 15, 2017, Pollock was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a right groin strain.[18] Over the course of 112 games in 2017, Pollock would record a batting average of .266, 14 home runs, and 49 RBI.

In 2018, Pollock hit .257 with 21 home runs and 65 RBIs over 113 games. He was also 13 for 15 in stolen base opportunities.[13]

Los Angeles Dodgers

On January 26, 2019, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they had signed Pollock to a four-year contract, with a player option for another year.[19]

On April 30, 2019, the Dodgers placed Pollock on the injured list with a right elbow inflammation.[19] He did not rejoin the team until July 12.[20] In September, the Dodgers moved Pollock to left field for the rest of the season.[21] For the season he appeared in 86 games, batting .266/.327/.468, with 15 homers and 47 RBIs.[13]

The 2020 season was shortened because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Pollock played in 55 of the Dodgers' 60 games. On September 16, Pollock hit his 100th career home run, off of Adrián Morejón of the San Diego Padres.[22] He batted .276/.314 (a career low)/.566 (a career high) with 16 home runs and 34 RBIs.[13] In the postseason, Pollock had one hit (a double) in five at-bats in the Wild Card Series, three hits in 10 at-bats in the 2020 NLDS, four hits in 20 at-bats in the 2020 NLCS and one hit (a double) in six at-bats in the 2020 World Series, which the Dodgers won in six games.[13]

On May 2, 2021, against the Milwaukee Brewers, Pollock hit two home runs (including a grand slam) and drove in a career high eight RBI.[23] Pollock received player of the week for July 5-11 2021, during the week he had a four-game hitting streak while batting .391/.462/1.043 with three doubles, four home runs and four RBI. [24] For the 2021 season Pollock had a .297 batting average with 21 home runs and 69 RBI.[13] In the post-season, he was hitless in three at-bats in the Wild Card Game, had three hits in 11 at-bats (.273) over four games in the 2021 NLDS and eight hits in 21 at-bats (.381) with two home runs in the 2021 NLCS.[13]

International career

Pollock played for the United States national baseball team at the 2011 Pan American Games.[25]

Personal life

Pollock became engaged to his girlfriend, Kate, in March 2014. They met at Notre Dame, where Kate played for the lacrosse team.[26] They were married after the 2014 season.[27] In May 2020, Pollock and his wife welcomed a daughter at only 24 weeks old, and she spent 128 days in the hospital after her birth.[28] The family resides in Phoenix, Arizona.[29]

References

  1. ^ Piecoro, Nick (July 6, 2015). "Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock makes All-Star team". Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  2. ^ Gilbert, Steve (February 2, 2015). "Pollock thrilled for up-close view to Super Bowl celebration". MLB.com. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  3. ^ Pleskoff, Bernie (April 14, 2013). "Pollock's intangibles enhance his on-field value". MILB.com. Archived from the original on July 3, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  4. ^ Bunko, Gary (July 6, 2006). "Baseball Player Of The Year: A.J. Pollock, RHAM-Hebron". Hartford Courant. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "2008 Falmouth Commodores". thebaseballcube.com. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  6. ^ Laura Rasmussen (August 15, 2008). "A.J. Pollock is chosen Most Valuable Player". capecodbaseball.org. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  7. ^ "A.J. Pollock". Baseball-Reference.com.
  8. ^ "A.J. Pollock Bio - UND.COM - University of Notre Dame Official Athletic Site". und.com.
  9. ^ Jeff Jeffers. "AJ Pollock drafted by Diamondbacks". wndu.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Gilbert, Steve (April 1, 2016). "Pollock 'going to push for' returning this season". MLB.com. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Gilbert, Steve (April 1, 2016). "Pollock breaks elbow, needs surgery". MLB.com. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  12. ^ "Pollock called up, makes first big league start". Arizona Diamondbacks. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i "A. J. Pollock Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  14. ^ "Diamondbacks A.J. Pollock Values Defense Above All Else". tribunedigital-thecourant. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  15. ^ Nick Piecoro (July 6, 2015). "Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock makes All-Star team". Arizona Republic.
  16. ^ "Yearly League Leaders & Records for Power-Speed #". Baseball-Reference.com.
  17. ^ "Clippard, Diamondbacks agree to $12.25M, 2-year contract". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 8, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  18. ^ "A.J. Pollock lands on DL with groin injury". MLB. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Gurnick, Ken (January 26, 2019). "Dodgers finalize 4-year deal with A.J. Pollock". MLB.com.
  20. ^ Kavner, Rowan (July 12, 2019). "Dodgers activate Pollock, trade McCreery and Thole to Angels". mlb.com. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  21. ^ Castillo, Jorge (September 3, 2019). "Dodgers making a change for the playoffs, and Cody Bellinger is at the center of it". LA Times. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  22. ^ Smith, Brook (September 17, 2020). "Dodgers Highlights: Mookie Betts Runs Wild, Dustin May Dominates, and AJ Pollock Crushes". Dodgers Nation. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  23. ^ Wexler, Sarah (May 2, 2021). "LA onslaught: Pollock, Beaty notch 15 RBIs". MLB.com. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  24. ^ "Dodgers News: AJ Pollock Named NL Player Of The Week (July 5-11)".
  25. ^ "USA Baseball Announces 2011 World Cup/Pan Am Roster and Schedule". collegebaseballdaily.com. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  26. ^ "Pollock proposes during trip to Australia". Arizona Diamondbacks.
  27. ^ Amore, Dom (June 3, 2014). "Hebron's A.J. Pollock Was Tearing Up MLB Before Injury". Hartford Courant. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  28. ^ "Dodgers outfielder AJ Pollock has had more on his mind than baseball". Los Angeles Times. July 18, 2020.
  29. ^ "With his daughter finally home, AJ Pollock and his family have cause for celebration". Los Angeles Times. July 31, 2020.