The Los Angeles Dodgers can be one of the most dynamic offensive teams in all of baseball – but it comes with a caveat. Indeed, there is an ‘if’ involved as with most teams around the league.
Without question, one of those ‘if’ factors is free-agent outfielder A.J. Pollock rounding into form. Entering the year, Pollock was a career .280 hitter. Now, with Los Angeles; he is hitting in the .230’s during the 2019 season.
Recently, Pollock spoke with Pedro Moura of The Athletic about his early season struggles and his plan going forward to regain traction. Of course, this would be a huge shot in the arm for the Dodgers’ offense with Pollock often hitting in the middle of the order to break up lefties.
Pollock has the ability to change a game with one swing at any time. For instance, he did this when Sonny Gray of the Reds was locked-in on during an afternoon game at Chavez earlier this month.
Sonny Gray: walks Bellinger to get to AJ Pollock
AJ Pollock: pic.twitter.com/hlNyPEqG9b
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) April 17, 2019
Pollock tells Moura he is not overly concerned, rather just part of the life of being a baseball player.
“I’m just going through the natural grind,” Pollock said. “It was frustrating. It’s a tricky thing because you want that balance between when your swing’s dialed in and you’re swinging at the right pitches.”
Moreover, it sounds like Pollock wants to remain in attack mode and use the momentum of getting ‘hot’ to turn this thing around.
“I want to be aggressive in the zone, and that’s really, really hard to do,” Pollock said. “I think the average fan probably doesn’t realize how hard that is when the goal of every pitcher is to make something look like a strike and have it be out of the zone. That’s the goal for them, and they’re very, very good at making something look like it’s in the zone most of the way and then it’s out. If you’re scuffling and facing elite pitchers at the same time, it’s tough,” he said. “You can say, ‘Stay loose,’ but it’s hard. It’s just really hard to be 100 percent completely sold out and trusting. It’s easier when you’re hot.”
Honestly, what Pollock says within that quote above makes perfect sense. Take a moment to read it again – that is the mindset of a decent big league hitter who is going through struggles.
Analysis and Final Thoughts
It’s really a neat thing to be able to get a look into the mental approach of a player when things aren’t going great. Major props to our friend Pedro Moura for grabbing this right now. As a counterpoint, someone like Alex Verdugo or Cody Bellinger’s mental thoughts game-to-game with things going well are probably as simple as ‘see ball, hit ball’. And it works!
If the Dodgers are going to get their lineup to perform to it’s full capability, Pollock getting back on track to career norms is mandatory.
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