Dodgers: AJ Pollock Gives the Dodgers a Real Leadoff Hitter
As the Dodgers look to cut down on platoons in 2019, they will have a legit leadoff hitter in the newly signed AJ Pollock.
The Dodgers employed a platoon with almost their entire lineup for the 2018 season and part of their goal for 2019 is cut down on the amount of platoons they deploy. The addition of AJ Pollock will help with that since he is split proof and can hit against both left and right-handed pitching. The other area that Pollock will help is at the leadoff position.
Last year the Dodgers mainly used a mix of Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson to hit leadoff. Joc Pederson put up an OPS over .800 but he also hit just .239 from the lead off position with a .300 on base percentage. Chris Taylor wasn’t that far off from AJ Pollock as he hit .260 with a .343 on base percentage hitting from the leadoff spot. For his entire career, AJ Pollock has hit .283 with a .343 on base percentage.
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By adding Pollock, the Dodgers can now write AJ into the lineup card as their leadoff batter no matter who is on the mound. This will make the lineup less of a puzzle since Dave Roberts has less positions he has to shuffle around. AJ Pollock also gives the Dodgers a real base running threat at the top of their lineup. Chris Taylor is quietly one of the Dodgers’ quickest players but he has topped out at 17 stolen bases.
In 2017, Pollock stole twenty bases and he has stolen as many as thirty-nine bases back in 2015. While AJ is now in his early 30’s, he is still capable of stealing 15-20 bases with ease if he gets into enough games. If he can play more than 100 games then he is a near lock for a 15-15 season and possibly even a 20-20 season. He gives the Dodgers their first true leadoff hitter in a while which is something the offense has lacked.
If Alex Verdugo starts and proves he is ready to be a difference maker then there is a chance the Dodgers move Pollock down in the order to be a run producer but to begin the season Pollock should hit leadoff. While Pollock may not have been the outfield addition most Dodger fans wanted, there is a good chance that he will end up a bargain at an average annual value of twelve million dollars a season.