This is A.J. Pollock’s seventh season as a Diamondback, and when healthy, he has been virtually as productive as Paul Goldschmidt. He has only really had one full season: that was 2015, when he appeared in 157 games and was worth 7.2 bWAR. Fingers crossed, 2018 might be a very similar season, and it has certainly started off the right way. In April, Pollock batted .291 with nine home-runs. He had a triple-slash of .291/.351/.670 for an OPS of 1.021, and put an emphatic exclamation point on his month’s productivity with a three-homer game against the Dodgers at Chase Field in April’s last game on Monday night (below). He became the 12th Diamondback to hit three home-runs in the same contest.
Only Luis Gonzalez, who had 13 in 2001, has had more home-runs in a season before May 1 - Pollock’s tally of nine had been matched three times, by Steve Finley (2000), Richie Sexson (2004) and Kelly Johnson (2008). A.J.’s OPS of 1.021 ranks ninth in franchise history, most recently beaten by Paul Goldschmidt’s 1.030 in 2015. Add in Pollock’s outstanding defense in centerfield and his team-leading six stolen bases, and his overall value for April of 1.7 fWAR was the highest in the National League. With another home-run last night, giving him an NL-league leading (tied with the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon) ten to this point, May appears to be continuing in much the same vein for Pollock.
Previous Diamondbacks to have won the National League Player of the Month award were as follows:
- September 2017 - J.D. Martinez
- August 2013 - Martín Prado
- April 2010 - Kelly Johnson
- May 2009 - Justin Upton
- June 2001 - Luis Gonzalez
- April 2001 - Luis Gonzalez
- April 1999 - Matt Williams