It’s not a secret Los Angeles Dodgers rookie center fielder Joc Pederson has been struggling since the All-Star break.
Since the Midsummer Classic he is batting just .158 with three homers and seven RBIs in 28 starts. The slump prompted Dodgers manager Don Mattingly to give Pederson’s starting center field spot to Kiké Hernandez.
Despite how much the 23-year-old rookie has been struggling, he has maintained a positive attitude and continued to work hard in attempt to get out of the slump. Along with doing work behind the scenes, Pederson also received advice from Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, according to Pedro Moura of the OC Register:
He goes, ‘Yeah, I grind every day,’” Pederson recalled. “That means a lot coming from one of the best hitters in the game. He says you need to continue to grow and learn. He’s growing every day. He’s going through things. It’s not like this one thing clicked and it was perfect from then on.”
Votto and Pederson share something in common in that they both draw their share of walks. The 31-year-old Votto leads the majors with 109 walks, while Pederson ranks fifth with 80. In discussing the advice he provided Pederson with, Votto said he was passing along a message he received:
I was told that when I was younger, and that helped me a great deal, because I always thought it was supposed to be smooth sailing,” Votto said this week. “It doesn’t get easier. It’s actually gotten harder as I’ve gotten older. That doesn’t mean I won’t be successful in the future or I can’t be successful now, but don’t assume it’s going to be easy.”
Votto is a four-time All-star and won the National League MVP Award in 2010. He is currently bouncing back from a rough season in 2014 where he only played in 62 games and batted .255. As for Pederson, he again wasn’t in the lineup Friday and presumably won’t start Saturday with the Chicago Cubs sending left-hander Jon Lester to the mound.
Pederson is batting .213/.356/.438 this season, but only .158/.331/.284 in the second half with 64 strikeouts and 48 walks in 121 plate appearances over 32 games (28 starts).