Selected in the 11th-round of the 2010 draft, Joc Pederson was a long shot to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but was offered $600,000 and bought out of a commitment to USC. After going hitless in his debut, Pederson has hit at nearly every stop.
In 2011, he OPS’d .997 with Ogden before a late-season promotion to Great Lakes, where he struggled. In 2012, he skipped Low-A and went straight to High-A Rancho Cucamonga, where he OPS’d .913. The next season, he OPS’d .878 at Double-A Chattanooga as a 21-year-old.
This season, Pederson was assigned to hitter-friendly Triple-A Albuquerque and was expected to put up big numbers. He did not disappoint, OPSing 1.017. That earned him a September callup, where he played sparingly over the season’s final month.
Pederson collected his first Major-League base hit in his second game, but ended up with just a .143 batting average with nine walks and 11 strikeouts in 18 games.
While a Major-League debut is something you’ll never forget, Pederson made history in the Pacific Coast League. Entering August, he had accumulated 23 home runs and 25 stolen bases.
No player had achieved a 30/30 season in the PCL in 80 years. On Aug. 23, sitting on 32 home runs and 29 stolen bases, Pederson stole second in the sixth inning to put his name in the history books.
There’s little doubt that Pederson is ready for the Major Leagues. However, the Dodgers still have a logjam in the outfield, with Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke entrenched on the Major-League roster.
Unless one or two of those veterans is moved this off-season, it would be difficult to imagine Pederson starting next season with the big club.
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