June 29, 2009
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to terms with first-round pick A.J. Pollock.
It is expected that Pollock is expected to begin his pro career this week at Class A South Bend of the Midwest League.
South Bend is familiar territory for Pollock, who played center field for Notre Dame. As a junior last year, he hit .365 with a .443 on-base percentage and slugged .610. He is a polished player who caught D-backs scouting director Tom Allison's eye last year when he went to look at another Notre Dame player.
The D-backs selected Pollock with the 17th overall pick in last month's First-Year Player Draft, a pick they got from the Dodgers as compensation for Los Angeles signing free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson.
The 21-year-old has a good approach at the plate and does not chase pitches out of the strike zone. Pollock is a gap hitter and an above-average runner who has good instincts and can steal a base. Once a shortstop, Pollock can also play second base, but Allison said the club planned to play him in center.
The Arizona Republic reported the deal included a $1.4 million signing bonus.
Notre Dame's three other draftees' Sam Elam (New York Yankees), Evan Sharpley (Seattle Mariners) and Jeremy Barnes (Philadelphia Phillies) also signed contracts. Both Elam (Staten Island) and Barnes (Williamsport) reported to the Class A New York-Penn League, while Sharpley reported to the Rookie Arizona League.