Coming into the 2014 season, it looked like Arizona Diamondbacks' outfielder A.J. Pollock had about reached his ceiling as a major leaguer.
He had shown above-average outfield defense to go along with occasional pop and an average of around .260.
But Pollock has taken his game to another level to start the 2014 season, and CBS Sports baseball insider Jon Heyman included Pollock at No. 11 on a list of the 25 best starts in baseball this season.
The 26-year-old has the team's second-highest batting average at .286 and his five home runs are tied for third on the team. He's helped anchor a D-backs outfield that has dealt with injuries to Cody Ross and Mark Trumbo through the season's first two months, and he's established himself as one of the D-backs' few bright spots.
Here's what Heyman had to say about Pollock:
He has been a shining light in a bleak D-Backs beginning, with five home runs, six stolen bases and a 2.2 WAR. He's the fastest guy on the team, and a very good base stealer, so it's a wonder he's often buried at or near the bottom of a generally unproductive order. He has batted leadoff 10 times total, but eventually that needs to be his spot. Staying power: 4 (out of 5).
The Diamondbacks made Pollock the No. 17 overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft, and he's since compiled a .270 average, 15 home runs, 57 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 213 major-league games.