Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
Coming off his best season as a Dodger, AJ Pollock was a mainstay in left field. While he missed 45 games with hamstring injuries, he helped the inconsistent Dodger offense and became a superior defender. Pollock did not meet the minimum at-bats in his contract, so he will be a Dodger, barring a trade, in the 2022 season.
When many Dodgers did not have high batting averages, Pollock’s .297 was a breath of fresh air. At the beginning of the 2021 season, he only played against left-handed pitchers, but as the season proceeded, he also played against right-handed pitchers. He had 21 home runs and 69 RBI. During the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, he had a .381 batting average and homered twice in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves.
In the past two years, Pollock had been a defensive liability. Originally signed as a center fielder, Pollock, formerly a Gold Glove, had limited range. Having a broken elbow twice, Pollock’s throwing arm weakened. The Dodgers moved him to left field where he played expertly even though manager Dave Roberts frequently replace him in the late innings. He was a 2021 Gold Glove finalist.
The Dodgers will benefit from having a healthy Pollock in left field.