Jan. 12, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame junior outfielder A.J. Pollock was named second team Louisville Slugger pre-season All-American by Collegiate Baseball newspaper earlier this month. He was one of just five players from the BIG EAST Conference to be named to the first or second team.
Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) has already been named to the Wallace Award Watch List and listed as the 39th overall prospect and 16th collegiate prospect for the 2009 MLB Draft by Baseball America. He was also ranked as the seventh-best prospect from the Cape Cod League by Baseball America following his Most Valuable Player season this past summer.
Pollock finished the regular season on the Cape leading the league in hits (61), doubles (15) and slugging percentage (.556). He ranked second in batting average at .377 -- a clip that remained above .300 all summer long -- as well as second in extra-base hits with 20. Pollock also ranked third in on-base percentage (.455) and runs scored (35). He smacked four home runs, drove in 25 RBI and stole 11 bases. Pollock started in center field as a West Division All-Star, going 2-for-3 at the plate, including a solo home run. He proved to be the perfect leadoff hitter for Falmouth, relying on his ability to make contact and put the ball in play, striking out only 24 times in 162 at-bats.
Pollock was the second Notre Dame player to ever capture Cape Cod League MVP. Dick Licini captured the award in 1968 as a first baseman for the Bourne Braves. Pollock is also the second player ever from the BIG EAST Conference to be awarded MVP. John Morris of Seton Hall earned the honor in 1981.
Pollock finished last season for Notre Dame with a .352 batting average, 15 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 42 RBI and 28 stolen bases. A two-time BIG EAST Player of the Week selection, Pollock led the Irish in batting, hits (76), doubles (tied), total bases (109), sacrifice flies (7), stolen bases, at bats (216), games played (tied, 55) and games started (tied, 55).
Pollock was the first Notre Dame player to lead the team in hitting, stolen bases and strikeout ratio in the same season since Steve Stanley in 2002. He struck out just 10 times in 216 at-bats last year and his ratio of one strikeout to every 21.6 at-bats is the eighth-best ratio in school history. His .362 career batting average ranks ninth all-time in Notre Dame history (minimum 2 years, 2.5 AB/game).
Pollock and the rest of his Notre Dame teammates open the 2009 spring season on Feb. 20-22 with the BIG EAST vs. Big Ten Challenge in Tampa, Fla. The Irish will face Ohio State (Fri.), Illinois (Sat.) and Purdue (Sun.).
The three All-American teams include:
FIRST TEAM PRE-SEASON ALL-AMERICANS
SECOND TEAM PRE-SEASON ALL-AMERICANS
THIRD TEAM PRE-SEASON ALL-AMERICANS