Joc Pederson’s long awaited arrival in Los Angeles came last season when he was one of the Dodgers’ Minor-League call-ups in September once active rosters expanded. As would be expected from a player making his MLB debut, Pederson’s first taste in the big leagues was composed of mixed results.
After an offseason to prepare for the opportunity to take the reins in center field, Pederson returned in Spring Training and impressed, won the starting job, and has since become integral to the Dodgers’ success.
When asked about Pederson’s four home runs in as many games and the power behind the home runs, Zack Greinke said he’s been impressed by the rookie center fielder, via Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA:
I thought Joc would have a lot more holes than he does. He’s doing pretty well and hitting some pitches I never thought he was going to be able to hit. And he’s still really young, so it’s extra impressive.”
Greinke provided more context to his initial assessment of Pederson, via ESPN’s Mark Saxon:
There were a couple of things where, especially when veteran pitchers were pitching to him, it seemed like it was a pretty easy out,” Greinke said. “At the end of the year last year, he didn’t get many hits.”
On top of providing pop at the top of the Dodgers’ lineup, Pederson has taken command in an outfield that’s been without regulars Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig for much of the season. As for the center fielder’s offensive prowess, Pederson leads all rookies with 17 home runs, which is also first on the Dodgers and tied for third in the Majors.
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