Entering the 2014 season, Joc Pederson was ranked as one of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ best prospects. The Dodgers stole him in the 11th round of the 2010 Draft and he quickly worked his way up the ranks. Once Matt Kemp was packaged to the San Diego Padres, a starting job in the Majors was up for Pederson to grab.
The rookie center fielder started the 2015 season strong, hitting six home runs in his first calendar month. However, his production slowed after hitting five home runs in as many games to start the month of June.
While Pederson has taken his lumps at the plate, he’s continued to play a Gold Glove-caliber center field. He nonetheless acknowledged a need to continue improving on the field and how he handles failures, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com:
I’m just going to continue to grow as a player and keep learning,” Pederson said. “It’s not easy by any means. It’s a long season, and I hope to play this game a long time, so I’ve got to learn to handle the failure better and stay humble with the success.”
Pederson has appeared in all but two of the Dodgers’ 92 games this season. During his time in the Minors, the highest number of games he played in was during the 2013 season at the Double-A level (123). With a 135 OPS+, Pederson ranks only behind Adrian Gonzalez for the team lead.
Pederson’s play has made him an integral part of the Dodgers’ success this season and kept him in the discussion for National League Rookie of the Year.