Last season, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson took baseball by storm in the first half of the year only to fall on his face offensively during the second half. Still, despite that, Pederson finished his rookie campaign with a .763 OPS and tallied 2.8 Wins Above Replacement.

Despite a brutal second half that saw him only OPS .617 and strikeout 63 times in 219 plate appearances, Pederson could be one of the bats that helps decide the National League West race. If the Dodgers get First Half Joc, they’ll be a force. If they get Second Half Joc, they could be a wreck.


ICYMI: Team Has 2nd Best Farm System, per ESPN


From Lyle Spencer at MLB dot com:

The Dodgers believe the 23-year-old center fielder is too talented to let that happen again, but he needs to make adjustments to exploit his skills. In early-attack mode, Pederson hit .386 and slugged .841 on 44 first pitches put in play, and .432/.838 on 1-0 counts. With two strikes, he fell to .140, striking out 170 times with 44 walks. Patience is a virtue, but pitchers’ counts can bury a hitter.

Pederson hit .474 against first pitch fastballs last season so, while he wants to remain patient at the plate, perhaps turning to a more aggressive approach against early-count fastballs could yield a turnaround in his performance.

Whether or not Pederson figures out what ailed him during the second half of the season will be one of the intriguing storylines of training camp and Spring Training. The team needs him to perform, and they need him to perform well or else their season could be a dud.

The upside with Pederson is that he’s still young – he turns 24 in April – and still learning. If he turns into an Adam Dunn type with quality center field defense, even that isn’t the worst thing in the world. He just needs to find his game, and the Dodgers hope he can. Their season might depend on it.

Dodgers News: Team Will Win NL West, per Washington Post

 

About The Author

Justin Russo is a 30-year old sports enthusiast who dabbles in all forms of sports talk. Whether that talk revolves around the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, MLB, or other leagues, he has an opinion. He works as a writer for Warriors World, and was formerly a writer and editor for ClipsNation on the SB Nation network. He also is the Editor-in-chief for But The Game Is On: The Beat.

13 Responses

  1. wfmartinez523

    An Adam Dunn type who dominates CF. Ill take that any day, so long an Seager and Puig prove to be good hitters.

    Reply
  2. nodrog60

    Joc was a monster for 6 weeks, not the first half. He was a 210 hitter for the last 18th weeks with no real power. Worse yet he was unable to make adjustments that were needed. Let’s hope he can hit 250 with 20 homers this year. If not he will be just another failed prospect.

    Reply
  3. wfmartinez523

    nodrog60 He is already not a failed prospect. I’m confident he will do better than .250 with 20 homers.

    Reply
  4. nodrog60

    Actually I said if he doesn’t hit 250 and 20 Homers he will probably be just another failed prospect. The minors are full of them. Hope not!

    Reply
  5. AlwaysCompete

    It will not depend on his ability.  We all know he has the tools to hit and hit with power.  But it is his mental approach that needs to be tweaked.  There are small adjustments that need to be made during the season, and he has to be open to them.  He will not succeed if his approach is to go up and hit the ball as far as he can with every swing.  Lay down a couple of bunts on the third base side when the defense puts on the shift.  He’s fast enough to leg it out.  Shorten the swing with two strikes, and make contact.  With his defense, hitting .250+ with 20 HR+ and .375+ OBP, he will be the everyday CF.  It all starts with the mind.  This is where Ibanez can be an immense help to Joc, as well as Turner Ward.  Who knows, maybe Ward can turn Joc into an AJ Pollock.

    Reply
  6. Tmaxster

    AlwaysCompete Yes I agree. My fear is he will not be willing or able to change his all or nothing approach. He was a strikeout machine in the Minors so it will be a big adjustment for him to change. At the end of the year with his average in the dumper, men on base and he needed to move them over he would not bunt the ball or push it to the third base side with the shift on. That to me was when I became disgusted with his arrogant approach. In baseball it has to be all about the Team. he is all about Joc… Glad Kendrick is back to free up Kike if and when Joc tanks. Or maybe we get lucky and Thompson pans out…

    Reply
  7. wfmartinez523

    Tmaxster AlwaysCompete A little strong on the arrogant judgement. He is 23 years old. This is a veteran laden team who with help curb the arrogant behavior you have seen is Joc.

    Reply
  8. Tmaxster

    wfmartinez523 Tmaxster AlwaysCompete Yes and we all know people that are mature at 19 and others never make it. Joc has great potential. He showed us that potential the first half of the year. But then the great pitchers in the Show and the analysis of the experts dissecting his swing and his tendencies showed his weaknesses. The guys that make it must adapt. Joc showed no tendency to adapt. His numbers continued to plummet. He only got his starting job back when Kike got hurt. No one hopes for Joc to pull his head out and reach his potential more than I do. But I would have a quick hook in the Spring.

    Reply
  9. wfmartinez523

    How many legendary careers would have been cut short with your quick hook mentality after early struggles?

    Reply

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