The Los Angeles Dodgers are stacked with plenty of talent and big-name stars, and AJ Pollock has been integral to their success this season but largely flown under the radar.
Pollock is hitting .296/.352/.507 with 16 home runs, nine stolen bases, a 132 wRC+ and 2.5 WAR. Since the All-Star break, Pollock has fared even better as he’s hit .329/.380/.493 with a 138 wRC+.
“Since the break he’s played as good of baseball as anybody,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Hitting right-handers, left-handers, playing really good defense, being dynamic on the bases, he’s slugging but can downshift and hit a base hit when we need it.
“He’s just been an overall really good player. When some guys are running a little bit cold, he’s been picking everybody up and been one of our most consistent performers in the second half.”
Aside from his offense, Pollock has also been a strong defender as he is second on the team in outs above average with one, trailing only Cody Bellinger who has three. That additionally places Pollock in the 63rd percentile among MLB defenders.
Pollock showed a lot of his value last week against the San Diego Padres when he robbed Manny Machado of a would-be go-ahead two-run home run and later drove in two runs in the Dodgers’ 5-2 victory.
“He’s been a linchpin for our club. Offensively, defensively, on the bases, the consistency of at-bat versus right and left,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to imagine where we’d be without him.
“He’s got big hit after big hit, he posts and plays. He’s all-in.”
Pollock not getting complacent
Although the Dodgers collectively appear to be playing their best baseball of the season, Pollock stopped short of declaring as much or taking comfort in it.
“Baseball is weird. You never quite feel like you’ve arrived,” he said. “Sometimes the offense is grinding and pitching has been great. Sometimes vice versa, the offense is doing good and the pitching is maybe slumping.
“I feel like we’re playing good enough baseball to win a lot of games, for sure. The defense has been playing great, pitching has kept us close, and if you do that, you’re always going to be in games. We should win a lot of games if we keep playing like this but as far as clicking on all cylinders, I don’t know.
“It’s tough to have everything clicking at the same time, but we’ll see.”
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