Arizona's Pollock Easily Getting Back In The Flow
A.J. Pollock may have missed last season, but he does not appear to have missed a beat. Pollock made a good impression this spring, exactly a year after suffering a fractured growth plate in his right elbow while making a diving catch in a spring training game.
Pollock followed a game-deciding, three-run home run in the top of the ninth with a catch against the center-field fence in the last of the ninth in the Diamondbacks' 8-6 victory over the Royals on March 7, a game that highlighted his spring work.
"It's really just awesome to be up here and be called upon and to get at-bats at the end of a game where it means something, and to come through," said Pollock, a non-roster invitee who the Diamondbacks selected 17th overall out of Notre Dame in the 2009 draft.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Pollock had 11 hits in his first 33 at-bats, including two doubles and that home run, and also has played a polished center field. His strong spring has made him a candidate to make the biggest jump in the system to Double-A Mobile. Pollock played at low Class A South Bend after signing in 2009, batting .271/.319/.376 in 255 at-bats.
"He's ready. He's kind of forced our hand. It is the way he plays, the way he carries himself, the type of confidence he has. That gives us confidence to send him to a higher level, because of his makeup," Diamondbacks farm director Mike Bell said.
Pollock, 23, has thrown himself around the outfield this spring as if he has no recollection of the injury, which kept him out until the 2010 Arizona Fall League season. There, he showed positive signs by hitting .389 with six doubles in 16 games.
Manager Kirk Gibson added that a byproduct of having young players in major league camp is the lessons they can learn and impart.
"We want them to know how we want to do it up here—the things that are important to the Diamondbacks—and then to go down and be leaders, to lead the rest of our organization as well."
• Lefthander Tyler Skaggs made an eye-popping spring debut on March 20. The 19-year-old pitched three scoreless innings to close out a 4-2 victory over the Athletics.
• The Diamondbacks signed veteran righthander Kip Wells to a minor league deal. Wells pitched for independent Long Island in 2010, going 2-2, 4.00 in 27 innings. He last pitched in the majors with the Nationals and Reds in 2009.