AJ Pollock Deserves to Go to the All-Star Game

In the 2015 All-Star Game, 1B Paul Goldschmidt is a lock to get the honor of going to the All-Star Game. This post isn't about why Goldschmidt should be in the All-Star Game and no one in baseball is questioning that. Instead, I'm focusing on the Diamondbacks centerfielder AJ Pollock. After Goldschmidt, AJ Pollock is the clear-cut second best player on the team. Pollock provides a power bat with great speed at the top of the lineup in addition to playing a Gold Glove caliber centerfield. After a potential breakout campaign at the plate was cut short midway through 2013, Pollock has returned with a vengeance. The uptick in his production that started in 2013 has carried over to 2014, which has been a big reason why the Dbacks are near the top of the league in a lot of offensive categories.

Batting Line: .330/.379/.510 7 HR 25 RBI 14/18 SB wRC+ 141 in 224 PA

That's a strong batting line for any position, let alone for a centerfielder. I rate AJ Pollock as a Top 5 centerfielder in all of baseball and a legitimate 5-Tool player in the outfield. While injuries have slowed down his breakout, he has really put it together the last two seasons at the plate and his defense has also improved (if that was possible) under Dave McKay. Pollock has been batting 2nd, in front of Dbacks Superstar 1B Paul Goldschmidt, and the results couldn't have gone better for AJ. The key for lineup protection is sandwiching Goldschmidt between two impact hitters. Of late, Yasmany Tomas has been the guy who's been doing damage behind Goldschmidt. The Dbacks 2-3-4 hitters are all batting above .330 and show no signs of cooling off soon.

Not only does Pollock swing the bat well, a lot of defensive metrics are fans of AJ Pollock. Pollock has 8 defensive runs saved, a UZR/150 of 8.8 (the drop in that number may be due to Ender Inciarte being in the OF too), and has fielded successfully all plays that Fangraphs says he had at least a 50-50 shot at catching. All that put together, Pollock is worth 3.5 Defensive Runs above average and 21.8 Runs Above Replacement (2.3 WAR). On Baseball Reference, Pollock has 1.0 dWAR and a 3.0 WAR. All of this in about a 3rd of a season, which puts him at an MVP pace. While I don't think Pollock will be a 9.0 WAR player (he'd have to post Goldschmidt type numbers at the plate) for this season or any other season on FG or BR, he's a legitimate 7-8 WAR player at his current level. A player of that caliber should be in the All-Star Game, especially if he's posting the batting line Pollock has through 53 games.

Vote for AJ Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt here if you haven't done so already. Goldschmidt is the best 1B in baseball and as I said before Pollock is a Top 5 CF in baseball. Even if Pollock doesn't crack the starting lineup in the fan vote/popularity contest, either NL players or Bruce Bochy should really consider putting Pollock in the Midsummer Classic because I don't trust that he'll win the Final Vote due to Pollock's anonymity to casual baseball fans that don't follow the Dbacks. It would be a shame if one of baseball's most underrated players misses the All-Star Game, especially a player of Pollock's caliber.