It’s tough to say where the Dodgers would be without the production of AJ Pollock in 2021. When they were going through the height of their injury issues, Pollock was in there every day and hitting just like he is now.
The past month and a half have been no different for AJ, even with the addition of all of the big names back in the lineup. The Dodgers outfielder is 12-for-27 in the month of August, including 5 extra-base hits and 8 runs driven in.
When asked what he believes is different for Pollock in 2021, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pointed to one thing. And the numbers for Pollock would certainly back that up this year.
I think for me, it’s very clear. He’s controlling the zone as well as we’ve seen him consistently. And the result is a byproduct of that.
Pollock struck out in 21.4 percent of his plate appearances in 2020. That’s right about where his career average is at 22 percent. And although he hasn’t lowered it by a wide margin in 2021, Pollock is swinging at better pitches for the Dodgers this year.
That has resulted in him barreling up more balls and getting a higher average exit velocity than most years. Pollock’s 141 wRC+ this year is by far the best number that he has put up with the Dodgers, and it eclipses his best year ever.
Whatever he’s doing to better command the zone, it’s working. And a reminder that AJ is only making a $15 million base salary this year. What a steal.