The Atlanta Braves are looking to add an outfielder this offseason. Could they find one in the former Diamondbacks center fielder?
After filling two holes already, the Atlanta Braves primary lineup hole left to fill is an outfield corner spot. With Ronald Acuna already taking center field skills to a corner, could the Braves pursue another center fielder for a corner spot in A.J. Pollock?
A.J. Pollock went to high school in Connecticut and didn’t get quite the attention a player in a more highly-scouted area would with the same skillset, which led to Pollock heading to the University of Notre Dame. Pollock had a tremendous career at Notre Dame, hitting .365/.445/.610 in his draft season with 10 home runs and 21 steals. That performance earned him a first-round selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks at #17 overall.
Interestingly, he went straight from Notre Dame to playing his first pro ball with South Bend in the Midwest League. He then suffered the first major injury in 2010 of his career, suffering a broken elbow and missing the entire season.
Pollock returned in 2011 directly to AA, where he had an excellent season, hitting .307/.357/.444 with 41 doubles, 8 home runs, and 36 stolen bases. Had he been 21-22, he’d have easily been a top 100 prospect, but he was 23 already, and thus, he was left off those same lists, but many scouts did take notice.
The 2012 season finally brought Pollock to the major leagues, but not until he’d dominated with AAA Reno to the tune of a .318/.369/.411 line with 25 doubles and 21 steals over 106 games. He hit .247 in his first exposure to the major leagues over 31 games.