Pederson Embraces Expectations, Mattingly Plans To Stick With Him
Much speculation was made regarding which relievers and bench players the Los Angeles Dodgers would carry on their 25-man roster, but when it came to the team’s outfield, no one was close to surprised about the five players selected, including top prospect Joc Pederson.
The expectations for Pederson have been set extraordinarily high, but according to the young outfielder, the pressure has not gotten to him, via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
I think I have the highest standards for myself than anyone else out there. It’s not really pressure. It’s baseball. It’s something that I want to be really good at,” he said. “That’s something you dream about as a kid, playing in the big leagues. I’m doing anything I can to be able to make that dream come true.”
Although Pederson has yet to be named the starting center fielder on a full-time basis, Mattingly’s recently hinted at as much. On Monday, he again said the plan is to stick with Pederson for the time being, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
Don Mattingly: "Right now you're going to see Joc a lot in center field." #Dodgers #OpeningDay
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) April 6, 2015
Pederson hit .338/.377/.692 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in the spring, both of which were team highs. While Andre Ethier trumps Pederson in experience, the rookie is touted as the club’s best center fielder.
Making the first of many starts for the Dodgers this season, Pederson’s day included some of the peaks and valleys to be expected with a rookie. He tracked down a fly ball in the right-center field gap for a diving catch and doubled in the sixth inning to finish the game 1-for-3 with a double, walk and stolen base in the Dodgers’ 6-3 win over the San Diego Padres.
Dodgers Utility Man Justin Turner
These new Dodgers kids are for real. Our farm system is awesome lately. GO BLUE
I feel if we don’t win the big one this year, and have them come up next year, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with over the next several years. Most of our prospects would probably already be playing if they were in a smaller market. This based off of what I did see in spring training. I was totally surprised by what I saw and it gives me hope for the future. ????
I totally agree