Bradley, Pollock represent D-backs in top 100 of ESPN’s MLBRank

Apr 17, 2018, 7:45 AM | Updated: 3:27 pm
Follow @kzimmermanaz...

For different reasons, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Archie Bradley and A.J. Pollock didn’t appear on ESPN’s 2017 MLBRank list of the top 100 players in baseball.

Pollock was a year removed from a 2015 All-Star campaign, and a serious elbow injury plus a lingering groin issue limited the outlook on his impact heading into last year. Bradley, who to begin the spring of 2017 was still a starting pitching prospect, had yet to perform in a relief role that he not only embraced but shined in with a 1.73 ERA by the end of the season.

A year later, a lot of changed in terms of Arizona’s outlook — and a lot of that can be credited to Bradley and Pollock, who both appeared in the top 100 of ESPN’s 2018 version of MLBRank.

A panel of baseball writers and analysts ranked Bradley No. 84 with a ZiPS projected Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 1.7.

Bradley posted a 5.18 ERA in 34 starts in the majors before shifting to the bullpen, a move that has given him new life.

His ERA in 73.0 frames a season ago ranked fifth-best in MLB, and the D-backs have kept him in the same role as a high-pressure relief option. Regardless of which inning he’s entered the game, Bradley has given manager Torey Lovullo a late-inning arm to lean upon along with newcomers Yoshi Hirano and Brad Boxberger, the latter of whom earned the title of closer.

Through nine appearances in Arizona’s 11-4 start to 2018, Bradley (2.70 ERA) has pitched 10.0 innings, allowed three runs, struck out 10, issued three walks and recorded one save.

Meanwhile, Pollock, who came in at 92nd in MLBRank, has appeared in every game so far and is slashing .273/.339/.600 with three home runs, 12 RBI and nine runs scored. Those numbers are on pace to potentially give Pollock a career offensive season, and ESPN has the center fielder finishing the year with a ZiPS projected 3.4 WAR.

Despite being hampered by injuries, Pollock has shown that he can be a 5-tool player when healthy. In his one complete season in 2015, Pollock hit 20 homers with 39 stolen bases, while batting .315 and winning a Gold Glove.

ESPN will release the top 50 players of its latest MLBRrank on Wednesday, and one would expect Paul Goldschmidt, and perhaps a starting pitcher or two, will join Bradley and Pollock in representing the Diamondbacks.

Penguin Air

Arizona Diamondbacks

Luke Weaver #24 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the f...
Character Counts

D-backs’ Luke Weaver helping raise money for exploited girls in Philippines

D-backs pitcher Luke Weaver is teaming up with Big League Impact to help raise money for exploited and trafficked Filipino girls.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks starter Tyler Gilbert, right, gets a visit to the mound by catcher Daulton Var...
Arizona Sports

The Ain’t No Fang Podcast: Who should fill out the D-backs’ rotation?

There are spots to fill when looking at the Arizona Diamondbacks' starting rotation. Who are the likely candidates?
2 days ago
Josh Rojas #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks dives to third base to get the force out on CJ Abrams #7...
Kellan Olson

Arizona Diamondbacks offense fizzles in loss to Padres

The Arizona Diamondbacks followed up 18 runs in their last two games with zero in a loss to the San Diego Padres.
3 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks second basemen Buddy Kennedy (45) flips the ball to Arizona Diamondbacks short...
Jake Anderson

D-backs’ Geraldo Perdomo, Buddy Kennedy acclimating to big-league level in rookie season

D-backs rookie infielders Geraldo Perdomo and Buddy Kennedy are finding out exactly what the everyday rigor of an MLB workday entails.
3 days ago
Christian Walker #53 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates his walk-off RBI fielder's choice with ...
Jake Anderson

D-backs overcome 6-run deficit late to walk off Padres in bizarre fashion

The Arizona Diamondbacks rallied late to walk off the San Diego Padres 7-6 in bizarre fashion at Chase Field on Tuesday night.
4 days ago
Starting pitcher Zach Davies #27 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws a pitch during the first inning...
Arizona Sports

D-backs place RHP Zach Davies on 15-day IL, recall reliever Sean Poppen

The D-backs have placed starting pitcher Zach Davies on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation, the team announced Tuesday. 
4 days ago
Bradley, Pollock represent D-backs in top 100 of ESPN’s MLBRank