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Grading the White Sox: AJ Pollock

Did he break the chain this season?

Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox
AJ Pollock brought surprising durability to the diamond in 2022.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

At midseason, the SSS staff graded the 46-46 White Sox, from the head of the class Dylan Cease down to Dallas Keuchel. We invented a WARsss metric that could very well be just a cute way to trot out our special site grades — but really for all you know could be the product of years of research in a stats lab.

Our expanded report card will take us through everyone who saw time in uniform for the White Sox, plus some front-office types. Most of our writers will take on a couple of players, with final grades and short writeups, running through the end of November. Enjoy!

AJ Pollock
Midseason: -0.1 WARsss
Final: 1.3 WARsss

During spring training, talks were starting to ramp up around Craig Kimbrel. As we know, Kimbrel was the “big” White Sox acquisition at 2021’s trade deadline, and let’s just say he ... underperformed. “Who won the trade?” was the big question between White Sox and Cubs fans, and then AJ Pollock arrived as a surprise addition to the deal: On April 1, Pollock moved from one side of Camelback Ranch with the Los Angeles Dodgers to another with the White Sox, in a trade for Kimbrel. The Dodgers were in need of a bullpen arm after losing their closer Kenley Jansen in the offseason, and the White Sox desperately needed to fill right field. The White Sox took on Pollock’s contract, with no money exchanged. We said goodbye to “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and hello to “The Chain.”

My first initial thought when I saw Pollock was OK, his walkup song already won me over. Who doesn’t like a Fleetwood Mac classic as you’re walking up to the plate at Guaranteed Rate Field?

On another note, it seemed like almost all White Sox fans were actually ... happy with a trade Rick Hahn made? The only issue would be Pollock’s consistency and him being able to stay healthy. This seemed to be a solid move in addressing holes that needed to be filled.

Pollock has had a series of injuries in his MLB career, but was available most of the year for the White Sox — playing 138 games, his most since 2015. Anywhere you put him in the lineup, he produced, and before the addition of Elvis Andrus it was Pollock who thrived in the leadoff spot. He was good defensively in all outfield positions. He added 14 home runs, 56 RBIs, a .245 BA, .681 OPS, 0.6 WAR, 93 WRC+ and 120 hits. One thing that was guaranteed is that Pollock would CRUSH lefties, as 11 of his 14 home runs came off of left-handed pitchers.

Highlight of the year? Has to be his go-ahead, solo home run at Yankee Stadium in the ninth inning, which won the game and showed some clutch hitting. Clutch play was rare with the team last year, so it’s nice that the veteran was able to come through in situations like that.

It is unclear what role Pollock will fill for this team next season, depending on any offseason signings and his decision with his contract, but hopefully he can continue to play as much as he has and serve as a steady player in the lineup.

2022 White Sox Grades

AJ Pollock, OF, 1.3
Matt Foster, RHRP, 1.2
Yoán Moncada, 3B, 0.92
Lenyn Sosa, SS, 0.85
José Ruiz, RHRP, 0.83
Mark Payton, OF, 0.6
Carlos Pérez, C, 0.399
Lucas Giolito, RHSP, 0.392
Adam Engel, OF, 0.237
Vince Velasquez, RHP, -0.4
Reese McGuire, C, -1.1
Kyle Crick, RHRP, -1.65
Joe Kelly, RHRP, -1.75
Daryl Boston, 1B Coach, -2.0
Anderson Severino, LHRP, -2.2
Jerry Reinsdorf, OWN, -2.321
Jake Diekman, LHRP, -2.366
Rick Hahn, GM, -2.401
Bennett Sousa, LHRP, -2.425
Frank Menechino, BAT COACH, -2.469
Yasmani Grandal, C/DH, -2.549
Leury García, UTIL, -2.7
Adam Haseley, OF, -3.146
Joe McEwing, 3B Coach, -3.167
Ryan Burr, RHRP, -3.4
Tony La Russa, MGR, -3.5
Dallas Keuchel, LHSP, -3.9


AJ Pollock, how’d we do?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Too harsh, he played way more than we anticipated, and there’s something to just showing up.
    (3 votes)
  • 46%
    Too easy, way too much money to spend on a guy who was replacement level.
    (39 votes)
  • 50%
    This seems about right, AJ grew on me over the course of the season.
    (42 votes)
84 votes total Vote Now