Dodgers 2020 Season Grades: AJ Pollock

AJ Pollock, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
AJ Pollock, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

How would you grade Dodgers OF AJ Pollock’s performance in 2020?

After a tough first year in blue-and-white, AJ Pollock looked more like the player the Dodgers envisioned when they signed him to a five-year $60 million deal prior to the 2019 season this time around.

An elbow injury limited him to just 86 games his first year in LA, and his production was pretty average when he was on the field.

Pollock rebounded in 2020, slashing .276/.314/.566 in 55 games, driving in 34 with 16 homers, good enough for third in the National League. His on-field accomplishments this year were even more impressive considering he contracted Covid and welcomed a daughter born three months premature during the offseason.

Pollock’s underlying numbers were interesting this season. The Notre Dame product has always been a bit of a hacker, and he set career lows with a 5.7% walk rate and .314 on base percentage this season. However, he also set career highs with a .566 slugging, .881 OPS, and tied a career high 134 OPS+.

Statcast liked how he was hitting the ball as well, as Pollock finished in the 83rd percentile for expected slugging, 77th in expected average, 71st in hard hit %, and 70th in barrel %. His chase rate is still hovering around league average, but has been trending in the wrong direction the last few years.

Basically, Pollock is a free swinger but still makes a decent amount of contact, and with good pop. Unfortunately, he didn’t continue his resurgence into the postseason. After a strong showing against the Padres, Pollock fell off in the NLCS and Dave Roberts only trusted him with seven at-bats during the World Series.

Dodgers Grade for AJ Pollock: B

I’m giving Pollock a B for his 2020 performance. Sure, he slumped in the playoffs, and the on-base numbers are a little concerning, but a top three finish in homers is no small feat, no matter the season.

Pollock actually hit one more home run in this abbreviated season than he did in his disappointing 2019 campaign. He’s not going to be the five tool stand-out he was early in his Arizona tenure, but he still brings a solid veteran bat to an already potent Dodgers lineup.