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Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: A.J. POLLOCK OUTFIELDER ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Yes him again.  Anyone who has been a habitual reader of this site knows the love yours truly has for Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock.  After all, Pollock was one of our best sleeper calls in recent memory when we tabbed him as a major value play prior to the 2015 season.  Major value Pollock was as he put forth a blockbuster five-tool campaign that included 20 home runs, 111 runs, 76 RBI, 39 steals, and a .315 average.  With a past as a former first round pick, Pollock was the new star OF 1 on the block who would go in Round 2 of most fantasy baseball drafts as visions of a 25/25 campaign popped with regards to 2016.  Well as often happens in fantasy baseball, the gods had other ideas as Pollock didn't even make it out of spring training before suffering a broken elbow and when he finally did come back later in the year, it was for just 12 mostly meaningless games. 

In terms of 2017, Pollock had some buy low appeal as the broken elbow was looked at as a fluke injury and so he was highly sought after once again.  Well the injury bug got Pollock again as he played in only 112 games and eventually was moved out of the team's leadoff spot.  The latter is just as significant as the injury problems as Pollock's runs and steals potential take a major hit when not leading off and his overall 2017 numbers underwhelmed:

.266
14 HR
73 R
49 RBI
20 SB

On the surface, a 14/20 campaign is very fantasy baseball-friendly but the steals really started to dry up when Pollock was moved down the order.  Keep in mind half of those 20 steals came in April before a groin issue propped up.  Also Pollock has now missed significant time in four of his last five seasons which means there is a clear trend with him getting hurt which needs to be factored into his draft cost. 

Now in terms of what the D-Backs will do with Pollock this season, they have Chris Owings coming back and Ketel Marte could also be a leadoff option.  If Pollock does get the call, he can be an easy 15/20/.280 guy at the very least and that is with some injury time mixed in.  This is always a tough call given the risk but Pollock remains in his prime at the age of 30 and capable of being an OF 1 on talent alone. 

2018 PROJECTION:  .290 16 HR 57 RBI 89 R 24 SB  


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