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 target
PHOENIX, AZ – AUGUST 26: A.J. Pollock #11 of the Arizona Diamondbacks (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

The offensive value

Not only would Pollock bolster the Houston Astros outfield defensively, through his excellence in center field that results in the shifts of Springer and Reddick, he also would bring tremendous offensive value. He has a very balanced approach that could slot in well in multiple spots in the lineup for the Astros.

This past season, Pollock primarily manned the three or four hole in the lineup with sporadic games in nearly every other spot. However, the top four spots in the Astros lineup are about as set in stone as they come with Springer typically leading off, followed by Bregman, Altuve, and Correa, most often in that order.

The rest of the Astros lineup fluctuates from game to game depending on matchups and who’s hot. He could follow up Correa in the five hole or slide down and essentially act as a second leadoff man at the bottom of the order. Regardless, Pollock’s offensive skills would be a major boon to this team.

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Pollock launched a career-high, 21, home runs in 2018. He also managed to drive in over 60 runs to go with a .257/.318/.484 slash line. Those numbers aren’t eye-poppingly great but they’re still very solid. He also is still working on getting back to normal after a few injury-plagued seasons.

Pollock’s 2018 campaign was also a tale of two stories. He played extremely well in the first half of the season, doing a lot of his damage for the season in the first half while the second half saw him fall into a slump, along with a lot of the rest of the Diamondbacks roster.

Regardless, if Pollock can get his play balanced in both halves of the season, he’ll provide a huge impact. Pollock should, at the minimum, be able to provide a 20 homer and 20 stolen base season for the Houston Astros. If he does, plus a decent average, this would be a huge coup. Signing him for three years for $40-50 million would be well worth it.

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Pollock, like it was mentioned early, has had a slightly up and down career. He’s had some injuries that have driven down his offensive production slightly but two years removed from the bad injuries he could become a major asset in the Houston Astros outfield.