In his brief career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, center fielder Joc Pederson sure has demonstrated his power. The young star has displayed a complete batting arsenal in his first full season with the Dodgers and continues to impress Major League Baseball as one of the top rookies this season.
In Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs, the 23-year-old displayed a brief second of panic into the heart of Cubs’ fans as he launched the first pitch he saw from pitcher Jason Motte for a home run over the 400-foot center field wall with one out in the ninth inning:
The Palo Alto native now has 19 home runs on the young season, putting him in elite company in Dodgers’ history.
With the home run, Pederson passed Mike Piazza for the most home runs by a Dodgers’ rookie before the All-Star break. The momentous part is that they still have 19 games before the All-Star Game on July 14th. The left-handed hitter also has the chance to join elite Dodgers company by having more than 20 home runs before the first 81 games of the season. The last Dodger to do so is Matt Kemp in 2012, on the way to his career-best season.
The former 11th-round draft pick has not only been impressing with the long ball, but with other aspects of the offensive side of the plate. While being fourth in the majors with 19 home runs, he is third in walks, fifth in OPS, and seventh in slugging percentage. A complete package has earned him the starting position in center field allowing players like Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig, who auditioned for the position last season, to slide over to more comfortable positions.
With that solo shot, Pederson continues to lead the Dodgers and all rookies in Major League Baseball in home runs.
Kiké Hernandez Breaks Down Balk-Off