Houston Astros Rumors: Signing AJ Pollock would create league’s best outfield

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23: A.J. Pollock #11 of the Arizona Diamondbacks (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23: A.J. Pollock #11 of the Arizona Diamondbacks (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros outfield
ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 15: Reddick, Springer, and Gonzalez of the Houston Astros (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The defensive value

Probably one of the biggest reasons for fluctuations in Pollock’s career is his injury history, which has grown to be quite extensive and something that shouldn’t be glazed over. The injuries are a concern but something the Astros could work through due to the potential he has on this team. But, the injuries have not zapped him of his defense.

Signing Pollock to a contract would give the Houston Astros one of the best outfields in all of baseball for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is Pollock is a tried and true center fielder. He has played some left field and some right field in his career but not since 2014. This would, presumably, shift Springer to right field and Reddick or another member of a potential platoon would man left field.

Pollock is an elite defender in center, only committing two errors in the past three seasons manning center field. His play did dip slightly in 2018, but overall it wasn’t a large enough decline to be overly worried about. He has an average arm but that is more than made up for with his top-end speed and ball tracking ability.

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Springer is also a more natural right fielder than he is a center fielder. He consistently grades out better as a right fielder than he does in center. Don’t get me wrong, he was a phenomenal center fielder so, just imagine what he could do as a full-time right fielder. Springer’s speed and tracking would go well in right, as would his elite arm, which may be the best attribute in his game.

Reddick has also always been considered a top end fielder in the outfield as well. He has a terrific arm, anticipation, and a great willingness to sacrifice his body for catches. His play could severely take away any ball hit to left field, whether it falls for a hit or not.

if the Houston Astros don’t love Pollock in center in clutch defensive situations, they’ll still have Marisnick off of the bench to come in and take the spot of one of the outfielders. But having Pollock in center is a wash, at worst, with Springer but it greatly increases the defensive value and production in right and left field.