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2020 Dodgers in review: A.J. Pollock

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What a year for the veteran outfielder

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The narrative around A.J. Pollock for years is that he’s a really good outfielder who can be an All-Star on a year-to-year basis.... when healthy. The Dodgers got to witness that first-hand in 2020, as Pollock played in nearly 100 percent of the games and had a career-year at the plate.

It was a rocky start to begin the season for Pollock, as he tested positive for COVID-19 in the summer. After a two-week absence, he returned to camp. With everything going on with his newborn daughter (please take a minute to read this story if you haven’t yet), Pollock almost opted out of the season. However, his wife had other plans, and told him he needed to go win a World Series with his team. That’s exactly what he did.

Pollock appeared in 55 of LA’s 60 games this season and was exceptional for the Dodgers. He hit .276, his highest mark since his All-Star season with Arizona in 2015. His OPS of .881 was a career-high, topping his previous best from 2015. What was most impressive about Pollock’s season was his power at the plate. He hit 16 home runs, just five short of his career-high. The crazy part was that he did it in only 55 games. Pollock was on pace to finish a 162-game season with about 48 home runs.

After a disastrous October in 2019, many Dodgers fans wrote the outfielder off, but he’s been great for LA since signing as a free-agent. In 141 games, almost a full season’s worth of games, Pollock is hitting .270 with an OPS of .828. In this two-year run, he’s hit 33 home runs, 24 doubles with 81 RBI. Not bad, considering he isn’t even one of LA’s three best hitters.

Pollock was great against lefties in 2020, as he played at an All-Star level against them. He batted .345 against southpaws and had an OPS of nearly 1.200. He hit seven homers in 55 at bats, so he was averaging one homer in every eight ABs against a LHP.

He started off hot to begin the season, cooled down in the middle, and then finished the season hot again. Through the first two weeks of the season, Pollock hit .364 with three home runs. He then struggled over the next three weeks, as he hit only .218 with an OPS of .647. Once September rolled around his bat got hot again. In the final month of the season, Pollock hit .294 with an OPS of .981. In 22 games, Pollock hit 10 homers and drove in 17 runs. He was one of LA’s top hitters to close out the season.

Pollock struggled a bit in the postseason, but it was easily better than what he did in 2019. He appeared in 14 games but only hit .220. Most importantly, his power was gone, as he failed to hit a home run.

However, Pollock proved to us that when healthy, he truly is one of the more unappreciated outfielders in all of baseball.

2020 particulars

Age: 33

Stats: .276/.314/.566/.881, 16 HR, 34 RBI, 54 H, 30 R, 134 OPS+

Salary: $12,000,000

Game of the year

This was just posted a few days ago as this home run came in as one of the best moments of the season. Trailing in the seventh inning, Pollock worked the count full and hit this go-ahead homer to give the Dodgers the lead, and ultimately the win.

Roster status

Pollock will be in year No. 3 of his contract in 2021.