Joc Pederson was selected by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Making his MLB debut in September 2014, 2018 was thus his fourth full season with the team. He signed a one-year, $2.6 million contract before the season, avoiding arbitration.
Regular Season Recap
2018 was arguably Pederson’s best regular season yet. In a season of endless platooning and lineup-shuffling, he hit a consistent stride as the team’s best leadoff batter. On September 19 against San Francisco, he hit his eighth leadoff home run of the season, passing the franchise record set by Davey Lopes.
While his season average came only to .248 (a career high nonetheless), the rest of his totals sported 25 home runs and 56 RBIs. Additionally, he was a sure hand defensively, his .992 fielding percentage ranking third among all NL left fielders, and fifth in assists with six.
How’d He Do in October?
At the outset of October 2018, Pederson was a player to watch. In the 2017 World Series, he set a record with a hit and a run scored in each of his first six games, socking three home runs. In the process, he also tied a World Series record with five straight games with an extra base hit. Had the Dodgers prevailed in that series, he would likely have been MVP.
His 2018 postseason started on a high note in the NLDS. He made for the team’s first run of the playoffs with a leadoff homer in the first inning of game one, setting the tone for an easy series victory. The NLCS was a quieter affair, hitting .231 with no homers or RBIs in all seven games.
Come World Series time, however, Joc didn’t even come close to replicating his incredible 2017 performance. In 12 ABs through all five games, he mustered a grand total of one hit. But in true “Joctober” fashion, that one hit was a home run in game three.
What Lies Ahead
With Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp traded, Pederson will suit up in Dodger Blue once more in 2019. His strong leadoff bat and stellar fielding will no doubt be crucial once more.
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