AJ Pollock was the biggest signing the Dodgers made in the off-season of 2019 and he proved to have some value against right-handed pitching. The Dodgers are paying him a decent amount of money, though, and their expectation upon signing him was that he would be a middle-of-the-order bat for the club every day, not a platoon player.
Pollock finished the 2019 season with a .266 batting average and 108 wRC+, accruing just 0.9 WAR in just 86 games. The Dodgers knew that Pollock was going to be an oft-injured player when they signed him, but they had to have been hoping for more.
Pollock will be entering his age-32 season in 2020 and spoke at Fan Fest about his off-season and his positional preference in the outfield.
Pollock in the Off-Season
AJ Pollock had a semi-successful 2019 campaign that was followed by an awful postseason showing. He was asked about what he has worked on this off-season in particular:
“Just like everyone, I have been trying to refine and fine tune. It has been a good season and I’m ready to get back for more.”
Pollock on 2020 Expectations for Team
The 2020 Dodgers will be the one of the best teams that AJ Pollock has ever been on and he will be right in the thick of things barring injury:
“Like every year, you expect to grind. It is never easy. I really like our team and our offense and my expectation is to grind along with the rest of the team.”
Pollock Talks Outfield Spot
AJ Pollock was moved from center field to left field halfway through the year due to the emergence of Alex Verdugo and Cody Bellinger as Gold Glove caliber defenders. He wants to get back to center field in 2020:
“As an outfielder, you are just working out every year. You’re doing speed work and a bunch of different stuff. Where I was was not where I wanted to be and I set a high expectation for myself. I want to be in center field right now.”
As a final bit, Pollock was asked his thoughts on the punishment handed out in the Astros sign stealing scandal, but had an expected answer.
On the sign stealing
"Obviously I wasn't on that team, but I'm frustrated for the guys on this team."- AJ Pollock on 2017 WS scandal pic.twitter.com/MEh0vaLvWI
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) January 25, 2020
Astros questions aside, Pollock sounds like a man ready to make good on his 4-year contract in the coming season.