After a tough series with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Dodgers bounced back to sweep a three-game series from the Arizona Diamondbacks. While Yasiel Puig’s offensive outburst and Howie Kendrick’s walk-off RBI single dominated headlines, Joc Pederson’s impressive catch should not be forgotten.
In his latest demonstration of how great of a center fielder he can be, Pederson robbed Yasmany Tomas of a three-run home run to keep the Dodgers ahead by three in the top of the third on Wednesday.
Following the Dodgers’ sweep, Don Mattingly pointed to Pederson’s overall play in center that night as key to a win. “The play Joc made in center, actually he made two plays, the ball off the wall that he gets in and keeps it at one [a single] there, and then the catch he makes saves three runs. So a lot of good stuff,” Mattingly said.
The single Mattingly referenced came with one out in the top of the first. With two runners on base, Tomas lined a ball off the wall in center field, but Pederson got to it and relayed it in quickly, only allowing one run to score and holding Tomas to a long single.
Mattingly also spoke highly of the production Dodgers have received from their rookie. “Without having to get to see him a lot, it’s better than I think maybe we would have known,” Mattingly said of Pederson’s defensive prowess. “Everything that we heard from the work ethic, and the jumps and reads, has been right on with what our development said.”
Pederson has anchored center field this season, solving a problem the Dodgers struggled with last year without a clear-cut option at the position. He ranks fourth among center fielders with four outfield assists and has only made one error on the season.
With Pederson in center and Puig in the right the Dodgers have one of the best defensive outfields in baseball, which is something that definitely hasn’t been the case in recent years.