Despite putting together a .283 batting average and .340 on-base percentage this spring, there does seem to be some concern about Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson. That is, at least, if you listen to the trusted opinion of ESPN’s Keith Law.
According to Law, one talent evaluator completely dismissed Pederson’s spring by citing the fact he’s struck out 20 times in 46 at-bats. The evaluator also wondered if the Dodgers would send Pederson down to Triple-A so that he can “get some confidence” and “get things right.”
Some rival evaluators who have seen the Dodgers this spring have a lot of skepticism about Joc Pederson right now, believing that the fixes he is trying to make with his swing have simply not clicked into place and that he is struggling badly trying to find balance at the plate. “He looks like he has no clue,” said one evaluator, who waved off the .302 average that Pederson had posted in camp to that point. “He’s striking out a ton.”
While the strikeouts are most certainly a problem, Pederson has hit the ball hard when he’s actually made contact. Will that continue throughout the season? No one knows. No one also knows whether or not he’ll continue to strikeout at a ridiculous rate like he has in spring training.
The soon-to-be 24 year old still features a wealth of talent, and he needs to unlock the other half of his potential by putting everything together for more than just a couple of months. The results are there right now, at least in terms of average and on-base, but that amount of strikeouts isn’t great.
Some have seen Pederson as nothing more than the National League’s version of Adam Dunn, albeit with good defense in center field. If that’s the worst case for Pederson, then it’s hard to see anyone being upset about that. After all, Dunn was quite good at the plate despite his lofty strikeout totals.