2019 Fantasy Baseball: A.J. Pollock to Dodgers
If only A.J. Pollock could stay healthy. It's something the people who draft him every season say in their mind when they add him to their Fantasy roster.
It will happen again this season, this time with Pollock wearing a different uniform. Pollock has left Arizona and signed a four-year, $55 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pollock has had several injuries and several of them have been fluky. He broke his elbow while sliding into home plate in a Spring Training game in 2016, missed time with a groin strain in 2017 and had a broken thumb last year while trying to make a diving catch. Staying on the field is the biggest problem for Pollock.
After playing 157 games in 2015, Pollock has appeared in 12, 112 and 113 games. Pollock had his best year in 2015 and was on the verge of becoming a consistent top Fantasy player for years. He batted .315 with 111 runs, 20 home runs, 76 RBIs, 39 stolen bases and an .865 OPS.
Pollock batted .257 with 61 runs, 21 home runs, 65 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 413 at-bats last season. In 2017, Pollock hit .266 with 73 runs, 14 home runs, 49 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 425 at-bats.
Pollock had a different approach last season, being more aggressive and the power increased. He got off to a fast start and looked like the 2015 Pollock was back. In the first 40 games in 2018, he had 11 home runs, 33 RBIs and nine stolen bases before the broken thumb. When he returned, he had a slash line of .236/.297/.407 with 10 home runs, 32 RBIs and four stolen bases in 263 at-bats.
The move to Los Angeles isn't as bad as one might think. He should hit first in the order and play centerfield, so the RBIs could take a hit. The Dodgers still have a lot of players capable of playing the outfield and a trade could be coming. The risk with the Dodgers is getting less at-bats. The Dodgers might believe sitting Pollock a game or two per week could help Pollock stay healthy and they have the depth to do it.
Pollock is familiar with the division and doesn't have to face the strong Dodgers pitchers. Pollock still has a great skill set and players with injury history get discounted. If you don't take risks, Pollock isn't for you. Many people won't consider drafting him at all.
Pollock has an ADP of 88.58 on fantrax.com. I will take him that spot understanding there is risk. While history says it will be difficult to count on Pollock for 150 games, if he can play that many he will go 20-20. I took Pollock in round five of the 15-team Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational league last season and won my league. There aren't many players capable of going 20-20 and Pollock is one of the few.
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