In September of last season the Los Angeles Dodgers called up one of their top prospects, outfielder Joc Pederson. In the few opportunities he got, the 22 year old struggle, going just 4-for-28 (.143).
Despite sruggling, Pederson gained valuable experience on what it takes to be an every day Major League player, which is of value as he battles for the starting job in center field.
Also helping him with the transition is super utility man Justin Turner. According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Pederson wasn’t shy when it came to asking Turner questions, which sat well with him:
He loves to talk hitting,” Turner said. “He’s not afraid to ask questions, which I love. One of my pet peeves is when you’re around guys who have a lot of valuable information and you don’t ask them anything. When I’m around guys, I ask questions. I want to know what they’re doing, what they’re thinking, because I want to learn.”
Pederson believes that having Turner as a mentor will benefit him greatly:
He took me under his wing this off-season and showed me a few new things, how to prepare for a long season,” Pederson said. “I’m fortunate for Justin taking me in.”
Pederson was the MVP of the Pacific Coast League last season, becoming the first PCL player in the last 80 years to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases. Pederson’s primary competition in center field is expected to be veteran Andre Ethier, though the club reportedly is attempting to trade the 32-year-old outfielder.
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