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Joc Pederson

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When Matt Kemp was traded to the San Diego Padres in December, it left a clear path for the Joc Pederson era to officially begin.

Pederson, 23 in April, is one of the most exciting Dodger prospects in recent memory, and for very good reason. Baseball America named him the 34th-best prospect in baseball, pre-2014, while Baseball Prospectus deemed him as the 50th-best prospect during that same time span.

Just this past week, ESPN’s Keith Law ranked Pederson as the 28th-best prospect, with MLB.com giving him recognition at No. 13 overall.

Last season, Pederson became the first player in 80 years to post a 30/30 season in the Pacific Coast League. As a result, he was named the PCL MVP, Rookie of the Year and was named to the All-PCL team, capping off one of the most historic seasons in minor league history.

To no surprise, Pederson was called up to the Dodgers in September, given the opportunity to get a feel for what Major-League pitching is like. In a small sample size, he slashed .143/.351/.143 with zero extra base hits in 38 plate appearances. He struck out 28.9 percent of the time, but recorded a very impressive 23.7 walk percentage.

Yes, those are generally underwhelming numbers, but it’s impossible to judge a top prospect based on 38 career plate appearances as a September call-up. Despite not living up to the unrealistic expectations placed on him, Pederson still gained valuable experience and got a taste of playing in actual Major League Baseball games.

For those actually worried that Pederson is on the verge of becoming a “bust” based on his limited statistics from last season (hopefully nobody out there thinks this), the latest version of the Bill James Handbook projects him to slash .269/.355/.462 with 26 homeruns and 29 steals in the 2015 season.

CONTINUE READING: Joc Pederson’s Expectations In 2015

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About The Author

Matt is a former staff writer and editorialist at Dodgers Nation. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattdodgerblue

16 Responses

  1. Tmax

    Well if we can get 20 HR, 250, 25 SB great defense and good plate discipline with a decent OBP I am sure we all would be thrilled. He would probably win the Rookie of the Year award or be in the running. If Grandal can hit 265, 25 HR improve his pass balls and survive base running issues the trade will turn out OK. And we will go deep int the post season.
    If not, next year we will be talking about another “Lost Year” the entire infield except for 1st base turning over and Greinke opting out. And what to do for a 2nd, 4th and 5 starter. If they are going to bring up Seager and Urias. What to do about Centerfield and the hole at catching. And the same old stuff about what to do about Crawford, Ethier etc. yuck.

    Reply
    • Michael N. Norris

      Well McCarthy is signed for 4 years…so he will be back…..and sorry T….you are in now way getting 25 HR’s or a .260 average out of Grandal……that’s nuts……he might be the starter, but every game Kersh pitches AJ will be in there,.,,,,Grandal might start 100 games,,,,,or 120…but no way are you getting those kind of numbers……235 16 dingers and maybe 55 ribbies at best…..plate discipline from Pederson? maybe….but he strikes out an awful lot and unless he gets better at that I say he will be lucky to hit .230….MLB pitchers will eat him up. Urias should stay in the minors at least 2 more years…..the kid is 18….rushing him is stupid. Seager will probably get a September call up….Rollins will be gone after this year and so will Uribe….I think they will try to resign Kendrick. One of 2 OF’s will be gone by mid season or the end of the year….Ethier or Crawford will get traded …..SVS is better off the bench…..

      Reply
      • Tmax

        Michael, I know that you are probably correct in your numbers. I am hoping that McGuire, who was a big swinger , can help Pederson pick his spots. McGuire has been a very sharp student of the science of hitting. I am hoping he can improve Pederson’s tendency to give away at bats. As for Grandal I think if he plays the entire year he hits 20 or over HR do we have a bet? By the entire year I mean over 110 at bats. Pederson if he gets 110 AB he goes 20HR also maybe a lower BA say 250 but 50-70 point higher OBP. IF they can do that and if McCarthy, Anderson and all the rest stay reasonably healthy we win the west. The playoffs are a crap shoot. A ball in the ribs, twisted ankle or another fluke injury or ball bounce can take you out of the playoffs because everyone in it has a great team. by the way thanks for the comments I really enjoy the back and forth. And I learn a lot.

      • Michael N. Norris

        I will bet you on Grandal getting over 20 dingers….but if he does that in 110 at bats….wow……..that’s a homer every 6 plate appearances! I know you really mean games played… McGuire was a big swinger in his day. Remember his rookie year he hit under .200……but he had 49 HR’s. I have a little more faith in McCarthy than Anderson…I just think that is a dumb contract. I really believe they will end the year with someone else the #5 starter….I just pray it is not Nicasio. Pederson has talent. He has speed, a pretty good eye and power. But I still say, he has a bad spring and it is hello Okie City…They cannot afford to give him time to adjust, and by that I mean 50 games. They start out at 25-25 the fan base will be in full revolt. Pederson flops in spring, your OF will be LF Crawford SVS, CF Puig, RF Ethier Heisey…

      • Tmax

        Yes thanks for the correction I meant games. OK so we have a bet on Grandal at over 110 GAMES he hits over 20HR’s. How about we bet that Pederson ends up playing at least half a year on the big club? As far as # starter I would hope it would be one of the kids. To me that is where you start off the kids is #5 so he can pitch and learn. If I were running the club I would have saved the 10 mill for Anderson and used one or more of the kids. But not Urias I agree he needs a couple of more years…

      • Michael N. Norris

        By kids I assume you mean Lee or Reed. They are the only 2 even close to MLB ready. Ok I will take the Pederson bet too…..If he is shaky, no way they can wait 81 games. I for the teams sake hope I am wrong….the only plus I see in him going down is letting Ethier show he still has it so we can trade him. The kid I am looking forward to is at least 2 1/2 years away….Holmes….

      • Tmax

        Yes with Holmes and Urias about 2 years away it bodes well for us in the long run. I like the plan as far as showcasing Ethier so we can trade him. But I really hope Pederson makes it. And Yes Lee, Reed and De Leon in the BP.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Not this year…that would be really wishful thinking..this ownership needs to win NOW. Those kids not the answer this year…..now they do not get the WS this year….blow it up and use the kids

      • Tmax

        Yes I agree. I was thinking it is very Machiavellian to make OK City the AAA Home. I spent a year in the TX Pan handle in the AF and I would have done anything to get the HE## out of there. That entire TX, OK, Ark area is really one you have to be born in to stand. Also spent a year in Mississippi in tech training for Electronics what a culture shock for a kid from SoCal. I had thought the North had won the war! Found out different when I got to MS. Talk about a Third World Backwater, Lord.

      • Michael N. Norris

        I drove a truck for over 30 years and have been that area many many times. I was stationed at Ft Bliss when I was in the army when I was not overseas…..The El Paso team was in the Texas league….a Cubs franchise when I first got there. In 1973 when I came back from Germany, the Dodgers had made it their AA team…called them the Sun Dodgers….only guy I remember from that team making the bigs was Lee Lacy..In 74 they became an Angel affiliate….changed the name to Diablos…The owner was Bing Russell……Kurt’s dad…also an actor. And get this,.,,,,,one of the top prospects was….wait for it……Kurt Russell…..he was the 2nd baseman…..He was hitting like .563 when a guy took him out on a DP and ruined his shoulder….end of baseball career…..Other guys who made the majors from that team….Ron Jackson…..Frank Tanana,

      • Tmax

        I covered TX, CO, Utah, Montana etc along with my current territory CA, AZ,NV and NM. I like El Paso and love Austin. Western Hill area. But the rest of TX you can have. Had to live in Houston for a year Wow Huge Trailer Park on a swamp.

      • Tmax

        Wow I remember Lee Lacy and Tanana. I agree if we do not make the WS this year use the kids. They will blow up the left side of the IF next year anyway. I agree they sign Kendrick.

  2. Tobin Tiller

    The infield will turn over again next year but is that really a bad thing? Seager will man one of the slots and hopefully we can sign Moncado to slot in another. Line-ups change, players come & go for a multiplicity of reasons but it can be a good thing too!

    Reply
    • Tmax

      Yes I agree and the Dodgers are due for change on the Left side of the infield. Uribe’s contract will be over and Rollins I am pretty sure they do not sign them. Seager comes in but yes it will be interesting what they do. Do they get someone to cover third or so they get a place holder for Seager at third? These guys are all about defensive metrics. SS is a key position so you really want someone that can cover the ground. Does Seager fit that description I do not know. I frankly doubt it. I think he is too big no matter what they say to cover SS effectively and they should put him at third and get a young guy. Or a veteran if they sign Moncado that can hold the place similar to what Rollins and Uribe are doing now.

      Reply
  3. Michael N. Norris

    A lot of pressure to put on a raw rookie. He did good at AAA, but that’s not the majors….right now he strikes out too much. If he has a lousy spring your CF will be Puig again, with Ethier moving into right as the starter. With Heisey and SVS the swing guys.

    Reply

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