As the Los Angeles Dodgers were working to find the best combination in their outfield, Joc Pederson was hard at work in his first season with Triple-A Albuquerque.
Pederson began the season widely considered the Dodgers’ top prospect and a future cornerstone of the franchise. That sentiment led to him being included in a group of three prospects, along with Corey Seager and Julio Urias, who the team reportedly refused to include in talks at the trade deadline.
Although Yasiel Puig was placed in center field in an effort to bolster the team’s defense, manager Don Mattingly has let it be known Pederson is who he and others in the organization believe is the best center fielder. After an MVP season with the Isotopes, Pederson was among the players called up by the Dodgers when active rosters expanded.
Pederson was one of several Dodgers who attended Clayton Kershaw’s Ping Pong 4 Purpose charity event at Dodger Stadium Thursday, which was an off-day for the team. The outfielder called arriving in the Majors a “dream come true” and added his focus was on helping the team win games.
With this being his first time at the Major League level, Pederson is soaking up the information passed to him from fellow outfielders Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier.
“It’s pretty cool, you know,” Pederson said. “They’re just giving me different pointers, and whatnot throughout the whole day. Two players who have done as much success as they have, take me under their wing, so that’s pretty cool.”
Prior to the young center fielder’s arrival, manager Don Mattingly said he would be brought along slowly and used in various situations. That quickly changed however, as Pederson started consecutive games in center field and at minimum, has been used as a pinch-hitter in each of the Dodgers’ games since his promotion.
As a rookie, Pederson certainly has plenty to learn and experience in what appears to be a bright future. In a small sample size thus far, the transition hasn’t gone particularly well for Pederson as he’s 2-for-9 with five strikeouts.
Although the Dodgers outfield is one with a surplus of outfielders, chances are high Pederson will factor into the picture from the outset of the 2015 season.
Joc Pederson Talks Being In The Majors And Learning From Veterans