Joc Pederson is not a platoon player.
At least, that’s what he says. Pederson has three homers this spring. The most any other Dodger has hit is one.
The #Dodgers have 11 HR this spring. Joc Pederson has 3.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 8, 2017
Pederson was held back against lefties for much of last year, adopting a “platoon” label he wants to shed. He was one of the Dodgers’ best sluggers and lineup threats, but his inability to hit lefties has rendered him a part-time impact player.
He told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register he spent his offseason improving his mechanics. Pederson told Plunkett he hit over .300 against lefties in Triple-A, and his .178 average against them in the bigs isn’t dooming. He wears a face guard on his helmet against left-handers as well, a decision he made towards the end of last season.
Joc Pederson HR last night; "step-back" drill is great for feeling weight transfer and stored energy inside back hip, why not try it live? pic.twitter.com/5RmHR5cvFY
— Chris Constantine (@ChrisConst22) March 3, 2017
In the same article, Dave Roberts said Pederson will play more against lefties in 2017. Roberts said he expects improvement at the plate, but Pederson’s defense will keep him in the everyday lineup.
Our analyst Brandon Knudsen studied Pederson’s growth and his increased contact rate. Knudsen expects Pederson to take another step this season.
Pederson is a fan favorite. He plays hard, he’s a solid defender and he has the pop to make every at-bat worth watching. Now he has to become a more complete player – that starts with hitting lefties.