While the Los Angeles Dodgers have a lot of money to spend through free agency, many All-Stars have also come up through their system. In recent years this includes Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Dee Gordon and Kenley Jansen, among others.
Now, the organization may have found their next All-Star in centerfielder Joc Pederson. The 23-year-old, who was an 11th round pick by the Dodgers in 2010, has raised a lot of eyebrows of far this season, both with his bat and his glove.
He currently leads the team and is third in the National League with 10 home runs this season, and his 28 walks ranks second in the NL. He has also played Gold Glove caliber defense in centerfield, and ranks third among NL centerfielders with three assists.
According to Lyle Spencer of MLB.com, one of Pederson’s teammates has had high praise for the young star’s play and work ethic up to this point:
He’s a good kid,” Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick said. “He works hard. He’s good, and he’s going to get better.”
Kendrick even went so far to compare him to another great player and former teammate of his, the reigning American League MVP, Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout:
In demeanor, attitude, they’re very similar,” Kendrick said. “They love to play. Mike is an unselfish superstar. Joc is just getting started.”
While Pederson has had a lot of success this year, he has been feast or famine much of the season, as he also ranks third in the NL with 43 strikeouts. While the strikeouts could be an issue for a player in the leadoff role, Pederson gets on base enough to continue to warrant the spot, not to mention the seven home runs in the spot.
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