The Dodgers’ new face in the outfield: MLB Column
There is a new face in town for the L.A. Dodgers: Joc Pederson.
Sept. 1 was the day for MLB clubs to call up players from the minor leagues and decide which players to promote.
Pederson has been talked about since last year, when the Dodgers called up outfielder Yasiel Puig.
Pederson, out of Palo Alto High School, was originally drafted in the 11th round of the 2010 draft.
From 2010-2011, he played in the Pioneer League which is a league for players who were just drafted, most of them signed out of high school.
He scorched the league by hitting .353 with 11 homers. He led the league in runs batted in (RBIs) with 64. He was selected a Pioneer League all star.
In 2011, he was promoted to the Class-A minor league squad. He hit .313 and had 26 steals. He was selected the Dodgers minor league player of the year
In 2013, he was promoted to the Class-AA minor league squad. He hit .278 with 22 home runs and 58 RBIs.
In 2014, he was invited to play for the Dodgers in spring training but was sent down to Class-AAA. This was due to the Dodgers having a crowded outfield with Puig, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke.
While playing for the Class-AAA squad in the Pacific Coast League (PCL), Pederson made history on the way. He became the second Dodgers minor league player ever to have two seasons of hitting 20 home runs and stealing 20 bases.
He also became the first player in the last 80 years in the PCL to have a season of hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases.
With a resume filled with milestones, the time has come for Pederson.
It’s time for a pair of fresh legs to be running around in the outfield.
Although the Dodgers have a crowded outfield, a lot of them are having very underwhelming season.
As of Aug. 28, Kemp is batting .277 with 16 home runs, Crawford is batting .271 with five home runs, Puig is batting .301 with 13 home runs, Ethier is batting .247 with four home runs and Van Slyke is batting .267 with 10 home runs.
One can argue that Kemp and Puig are the two mainstays in the outfield.
There seems to be an empty slot as the third outfielder.
Pederson fits right in.
Although, he will begin to play in games as a late inning defensive replacement or a pinch hitter, he should be starting besides Kemp and Puig very soon.
Just like when Puig ignited a run through the postseason last year, I can imagine Pederson doing the same thing.
Although, the Dodgers have a very expensive team with tons of talent, they seem to be missing a piece: a piece that will push them through the postseason and be crowned as the World Series Champion.
Pederson can do just that.
As of Sept. 5, he has played in three games. His first game was as a pinch hitter. He started two games in centerfield in favor of the slumping Puig, who has been batting .210 since Aug. 1. Pederson is 2 for 8 in those three games with two walks.