A.J. Pollock was a first-round pick and a well-regarded prospect, so it’s kind of a stretch to say he flew under the radar. But there were aspects of Pollock’s game that emerged last season, not just for a Diamondbacks organization that has entrusted him with center field but for the players with whom he shares a clubhouse. “He flies,” catcher Miguel Montero said. “When I first saw him, I thought he was fast, but not as fast as he is.” “He was in my (hitting) group early in camp,” infielder Cliff Pennington said. “I remember being like, ‘Man, this guy is really good. Who is this guy?’ I didn’t know if he was going to break with us or if he was in Double-A or what.” Pollock wasn’t expected to start with the Diamondbacks last season, but an injury to outfielder Adam Eaton opened a spot on the roster for him on Opening Day. He never left, putting together a solid offensive season and playing standout defense in center field. The organization gave Pollock a vote of confidence when Eaton was traded to the Chicago White Sox in a three-team trade in December. But when it was suggested to Pollock he proved something last season, he shrugged and said he doesn’t know what others think. And, besides, that was last year. “You’ve got to do it every day,” he said. “You’ve got to show your stuff every single day. That’s what I think, but I have a lot of days to prove that. Good or bad, I’ve got to come back at it the next day and start over.” For years, scouts have said there are no weaknesses to Pollock’s game. He can hit, he can catch, he can throw — he’s average or better at just about everything. But Pennington wonders whether that well-roundedness acted as the forest for the trees.
Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock packs tools, ready to build on ’13
Arizona Republic | Mar 6