After going through a stretch where he hit five home runs in five consecutive games from May 31-June 3, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie center fielder Joc Pederson was without a home run in the last 14 games heading into Saturday’s matchup with the San Francisco Giants.
As the Dodgers’ leadoff hitter, Pederson’s home run success cooling off isn’t so much an issue as it was a storyline with growing expectations he become a home-run threat at the top of the order. Saturday was the second straight game in which Pederson was slotted second in the order, behind Yasiel Puig.
After Carlos Frias allowed the Giants to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Pederson came up to bat with one out in the bottom half of the inning. He got ahead in the count 3-1 with Tim Hudson on the mound, then turned on an inside pitch to crush a solo home run to the back of the visitors’ bullpen.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, the ball traveled 433 feet at en exit velocity of 112 MPH:
Joc Pederson hits 1st home run since June 3rd and it was a no-doubter. 10 of his 18 HR have gone at least 430 feet. pic.twitter.com/YGtNcxcJii
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 20, 2015
The home run was Pederson’s 18th of the season, which leads the Dodgers and all rookies, and is tied for sixth in the Majors.