For Joc Pederson, 2015 was a tale of two seasons.
After earning a starting spot on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Opening Day roster, Pederson burst onto the scene with ticker tape home runs you couldn’t help but gawk at. But, as we always see in the MLB, opposing teams adjust, and the mental game comes squarely into play.
Unfortunately, as we tend to see, the batter – in this case Pederson – could not adjust in time to really make a difference in his second-half slump.
Pederson had this to say about those struggles as the season came to a close for Cary Osborne of Dodgers Insider.
“I could have told you everyone knew they were going to throw hard fastballs in (to me). It’s not a secret. That’s a pitch that they didn’t necessarily go away from. I didn’t show them I could hit it. And when I did hit it they had a shift on. It’s something at the start of the year I would take the balls and hit the strikes. But when I’m in a bad position, I wouldn’t hit that pitch. That’s the way it goes.”
Like any other problem, the first step is admitting there is an issue. In this case, it’s good to see Pederson identified where he struggled most mightily. The next step, though, is to put that inflection into play.
According to the article, Pederson says he’ll resume baseball activities as soon as the new year strikes. It goes without saying how badly the Dodgers will need him to bounce back from that unfortunate ending to the season.
For Pederson, though, understanding the mental part of the game is a great place to start.