As the 2015 MLB All-Star game rapidly approaches, the Los Angeles Dodgers still do not have a player set to participate as a starter. However, rookie center fielder Joc Pederson has generated some steam and closed the gap in voting over recent weeks.
Although Pederson is still striking out a high rate, particularly recently, his power has caught the attention of many. Considering Pederson’s power and possibility of reaching the All-Star game, it’s naturally led to questions of him participating in the Home Run Derby.
Given that Pederson is very much focused on helping the Dodgers win day in and day out, he hasn’t paid any mind to being a Home Run Derby participant. That being said, it’s something he would consider, according to Manny Navarro on ESPN:
If I’m invited to the All-Star Game to play, I’d take it into consideration,” Pederson said Friday of participating in the derby. “I’ll take any of the home runs I hit — long or short. They all feel good.”
Based on data collected by HitTracker, Pederson has hit two of the 10 longest home runs this season at 480 and 467 feet. The only person to hit a home run ball further is Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who is now on the disabled list after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his left wrist.
Yasiel Puig was one of four Dodgers to make the National League All-Star team last season, and he kept busy over the break by also participating in the Home Run Derby. Unfortunately it was a flat performance as he failed to hit a home run, then went hitless in the Midsummer Classic.
While it may seem far off for Pederson to make the All-Star team as a starter, he still has a chance to be a reserve. San Francisco Giants outfielder Nori Aoki, who is currently fourth in outfielder voting, was recently put on the 15-day DL, which could lead to Pederson making another jump up in fan voting.