While Yasiel Puig replaced Joc Pederson atop the order in Friday’s lineup and again on Saturday, Pederson remains the club’s undisputed center field.
As the rookie has seen some drop off in his averages at the plate recently, which falls in with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a whole, Pederson continues to provide Gold-Glove caliber defense out in center. During the Dodgers’ road trip to San Diego last weekend, he chased down multiple balls hit to the gap and made a game-saving catch in the bottom of the ninth of a game the Dodgers went on to win in extra innings.
Pederson flashed more leather Friday night with the Dodgers looking to keep the game close after climbing back into it. With the San Francisco Giants already having scored one run in the sixth inning, and their fifth of the game, Pederson made a diving catch on a ball Gregor Blanco lined to the right-center field gap.
Pederson’s catch was the second out in the inning and robbed Blanco of a likely extra-base hit and at least one RBI as runners were on first and second base. Prior to Saturday’s game Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Pederson is likely the best center fielder he’s seen.