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Hello, my name is: A.J. Pollock

Continuing the Snake Pit evaluations of the 2014 Diamondbacks.

How this works

Every other day, from now through to Christmas, we'll open up discussion on a particular player who made a meaningful contribution to the 2014 Diamondbacks. [I've drawn the line at 125 PA or 20 innings] There will be two sections. Firstly, a poll where you rate them from 5 ("Highly satisfied") down to 1 ("Very dissatisfied"): it's entirely up to you what criteria you use for the number. Secondly, the comments below, where you can talk about the reasons for your vote, etc. Things to discuss include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-season expectations 
  • 2014 performance: strengths and weaknesses, etc. 
  • Health and other mitigating factors
  • How they'll help the team in 2015, their role, etc.

Three days down the line, we'll collate the votes, calculate a final average score, and write up the consensus of SnakePit thought into an appraisal. Here is a quick overview of today's candidate for your consideration. 

Additional bonus! Going forward. we'll also have a "Comment of the Thread" for the appraisal, so please rec the comments you find insightful, funny, or whatever.

A.J. Pollock - OF

  • DOB: 12/05/1987
  • 2014 Salary: $507,000
  • 2014 Performance: 75 games, 287 PA, .302 BA, .353 OBP, .498 SLG, 7 HR, 14 SB, 134 wRC+, 134 OPS+
  • 2014 Value: bWAR 3.9, fWAR 3.3

The Diamondbacks entered the 2014 with a number of questions about how the outfield and playing time would shake out. One of the few answers that felt reasonably certain was that A.J. Pollock was the starting center fielder - period, while Trumbo, Ross, and the others would vie for playing time on the corners. Coming out of Spring Training, this seemed the right call. Pollock's reputation as a polished hitter only increased as he remained one of the few Diamondbacks to not take a nose-dive in the early part of the season. Along the way, Pollock continued to play superb defense in the spacious outfield of Chase Field.

Then, on May 31st, when he was still hitting a robust .316 and looking like a potential All-Star Game candidate, Pollock was struck on the hand by a pitch from Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto. His hand was broken and Pollock was forced to undergo surgery to have screws inserted into it. This injury cost Pollock the entirety of June, July, and August. Although he returned to play on September 2nd, Pollock finished out the season quite visibly less than 100%. Despite a rough September though, he still managed to keep his batting average over .300, joining Paul Goldschmidt (.300) as the only other player on the team with a batting average over David Peralta's .286.