Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last two seasons there were calls for the Los Angeles Dodgers to promote Joc Pederson to the Majors as the need for a center fielder steadily grew. When injuries decimated the group of outfielders in 2013 it was Yasiel Puig, not Pederson, who was promoted from the Minors.

Pederson’s time arrived in September last season after he became the first PCL player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in 80 years and was named MVP. As expected, Pederson showed flashes of his ballyhooed potential in his brief stint with the Dodgers, but also had growing pains at the plate.

In 38 plate appearances, Pederson hit .143/.351/.143 and struck out 11 times. During his time at Triple-A Albuquerque, Pederson had 149 strikeouts in 553 plate appearances. After participating at the Dodgers Winter Development Camp, Pederson told Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com he will report to Spring Training early:

I’m going to go out early to Arizona and workout with outfield coordinator, and work on some routes to make sure my defense is on point.”

As for finding a balance between being aggressive and working the count, it’s an issue the young outfielder is well aware of and intends to improve on:

I go up there looking to do some damage at the plate and I think that helps. When you’re trying to really crush a ball if it’s not in the zone, then I feel like they’re going to take it because you can’t get a good swing on it. That’s kind of the approach I take. It came with higher strikeouts than I like and that’s been brought to my awareness so that’s something that I’m also working on.”

Pederson is expected to compete with Andre Ethier and Chris Heisey for the starting job in center field now that Matt Kemp has been traded and Puig will likely be moved back to right field.

Should Pederson not win the job, it may mean a return to the Minors as manager Don Mattingly said recently he wouldn’t benefit from being with the team and not playing on a regular basis.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

5 Responses

  1. Michael N. Norris

    I wish him good luck….he is going to need it

    • Tmax

      Yes I agree. It is a lot of pressure and he has a strikeout swing. If he does not get his mechanics and his head in the game at the batters box the pitchers will own him. I wish him well but not confident. I also agree he has done all he can do at the Minor League level so play him or trade him. I would have traded him but we shall see.

  2. Jesus Hernandez


    • Tmax

      Jesus I agree if Yoan Moncada grades out like they say he does this is a great opportunity to buy a first round draft choice. The Dodgers have plenty of money but not enough hitters and talent in their minors for everyday players he could be a huge upgrade for the future and not cost us a draft pick.

  3. Timm MacDonald

    Defense is all well and good, but he didn’t demonstrate he can hit his hat in the majors….a 330 average in the minors doesn’t mean it translates to the majors….if he can’t hit over 260 his tirst season, fish and cut bait….potential just means you never demonstrated your talent….


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