Although the Los Angeles Dodgers infield has been overrun by players that have been traded for, the outfield remains a run by the Dodgers homegrown players.
Despite being drafted by the Oakland A’s, Andre Ethier was acquired by the Dodgers while he was still in the minors. Joc Pederson was drafted in 2010 and Yasiel Puig was signed as an amateur free agent.
Major League Baseball recently released a list of baseball’s best players under the age of 25, voted on by MLB.com and MLB Network analysts. Pederson and Puig both made the list at No. 16 and 17, respectively.
Pederson, who started the year off strong but has since cooled off considerably still has high potential, according to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com:
Signability concerns led Pederson to fall all the way to the 11th round of the 2010 Draft. The Dodgers scooped him up and gave him a $600,000 bonus that has proven to be well worth it. His power game developed as he climbed the Minor League ladder, and he emerged this year as the Dodgers’ everyday center fielder, a leading NL Rookie of the Year Award candidate and the Home Run Derby runner-up. Pederson’s dad, Stu, played eight hitless games with the Dodgers in 1985. Suffice it to say Pederson’s career is off to a better start.
Pederson has slashed .230/.355/.469 on the season and ranks No. 4 on the Dodgers with a 133 wRC+. While he does lead the league with 119 strikeouts, he also leads all rookies with 21 home runs.
Puig’s road to the majors was a bit different than Pederson’s. Puig spent just one year in the minors before being called up to the Dodgers:
After he defected from his native Cuba and established temporary residency in Mexico, Puig was given a seven-year, $42 million contract by the Dodgers in 2012. A year later, he got to the bigs and made an instant impact, earning the nickname “Wild Horse” from Vin Scully because of the risks he’d take on the field. Love or hate him, he’s one of the game’s few true five-tool talents.
Puig missed a portion of the season due to injury. He has not performed as well as some have hoped, he has increased the amount of line drives hit to 20.3 percent. With a career .723 average on line drives, it is important for him to keep this percentage high.
The Dodgers have a lot of young talent in their organization and it will be exciting to see how they develop in the coming years.