One of the players under a big spotlight this season for the Los Angeles Dodgers is rookie center fielder Joc Pederson.
Many consider Pederson a factor in the Dodgers trading away former All-Star Matt Kemp this winter. Because of this, the 22-year-old is under a bit more pressure to perform. He handled the spring quite well, hitting .338 with six home runs and 13 RBIs to earn the starting spot in center. Through the first five games this season, Pederson had just three hits and eight strikeouts, but he has four hits in the past two games.
When asked if his confidence is higher, Pederson said yes and elaborated via Dodgers Nation reporter Matt Moreno:
Definitely. You start the year hot, or cold, and you know because it’s such a short sample size. Once you get the games coming you really start to get a feel for it. It’s just about putting together quality at-bats. It’s huge for the confidence and helped the team a lot.
Pederson laced a two-out, two-run single in the fourth inning on Monday against the Seattle Mariners to cut the Dodgers deficit to 4-3. This came a day after he picked up three hits, including his first career Major League home run. The outfielder has already shown what he can do on defense, tracking down fly balls with ease and even making some highlight-reel catches.
While he will likely continue struggling at times, Pederson has shown that he belong in the big leagues and could potentially become a candidate for Rookie of the Year. He will have to learn to deal wit the peaks and valleys that occur in the Majors, but he has a strong veteran presence around him in the clubhouse to aid with that.
It’s exciting to see a homegrown talent begin to develop for the Dodgers and from the looks of the farm system, he could be the first of a few coming up.
Dodgers 2015 – Zack Greinke Praises Yasmani Grandal