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Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson
Pederson with the Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 31
Center fielder
Born: (1992-04-21) April 21, 1992 (age 23)
Palo Alto, California
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
September 1, 2014 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Career statistics
(through June 1, 2015)
Batting average .239
Home runs 14
Runs batted in 27
On-base percentage .376
Slugging percentage .492

Joc R. Pederson (born April 21, 1992) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB).

His father, Stu Pederson, played for the Dodgers in 1985. Pederson was drafted by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB Draft, out of Palo Alto High School.

In 2011, he hit .353 while leading the Pioneer Baseball League in RBIs and outfield assists, and was both a Pioneer League and Rookie League All Star. In 2012, he was named the Dodgers' "Minor League Player of the Year". By virtue of his Jewish heritage, he played for the Israel national baseball team in the qualifying rounds of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

In 2013, Pederson was both a mid-season and post-season Southern League All-Star, and led the league in slugging percentage. He was ranked the Dodgers' # 1 prospect by Baseball America after the 2013 season. In 2014 he became the first player in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in 80 years, and the fourth all-time, to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season. That year Pederson led the PCL in runs, home runs, walks, on-base percentage, and OPS, while stealing 30 bases. He was named the PCL Most Valuable Player, to both the mid-season and post-season PCL All-Star teams, and was selected as Baseball America's AAA Player of the Year. In 2015, he was named the 8th-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America. He began the 2015 season as the Dodgers' starting center fielder.

Personal life

Pederson was born in Palo Alto, California, and is the son of Stu and Shelley Pederson.[1][2] His father Stu Pederson played eight games for the Dodgers in 1985, and a total of 12 years in the minor leagues.[1][3] He is Jewish, as are his mother and both her parents. Therefore, Pederson is eligible to play for Team Israel, which has the same requirement as Israel does for automatic Israeli citizenship, that a person have at least one Jewish grandparent.[3][4] His mother was an athletic trainer in college.[5]

His older brother Tyger Pederson played baseball for the University of the Pacific, and played second base in the Dodgers minor league system and for the Rockford Aviators in the Frontier League.[3][6][7] His eldest brother, named Champ, has Down Syndrome and sometimes stays with him during the season.[5][8] His younger sister, Jacey, is an elite national amateur soccer player, who plays forward on the US Under-17 Women's National Soccer Team.[5][9][10]

High school

He attended Palo Alto High School, graduating in 2010.[2] In his senior year he batted .466 with a .577 on-base percentage and a .852 slugging percentage, with 20 stolen bases in 22 attempts, playing center field and leading off for the school's baseball team.[11][12] He also played for the school's football team, leading the team with 30 receptions in his senior year for 650 yards.[11][12]

After high school, Baseball America named him the top prospect in the Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League after he batted .319 with Waimea and was picked for the league's All-Star Game.[13]

Minor leagues and World Baseball Classic


Pederson was drafted by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB Draft, slipping to that round because of his bonus demands, out of Palo Alto High School.[14] He had committed to play at the University of Southern California, which his father had attended and for which he had played baseball, but chose instead to sign with the Dodgers.[15] He was given a $600,000 signing bonus, the second-highest bonus of any Dodger selection in the draft and four times the amount recommended for draft picks later than the fifth round.[16][17][18]

In 2011, as the youngest player with the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer Baseball League, he hit .353/.429/.568 with 11 homers, leading the league in RBIs (64), OPS (.997), and outfield assists (9), second in stolen bases (24) and on-base percentage, and third in runs (54) and walks (36), in 68 games.[19][20][21][22] He was selected as both a Pioneer League and Rookie League All-Star, a Baseball America Rookie All Star, and a Topps Short-Season/Rookie League All Star.[23][24][25] He was rated the Pioneer League # 3 prospect, and the Best Hitter for Average in the Dodgers system, by Baseball America in 2011.[16]


He was promoted to the Class-A (Advanced) Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League in 2012, at age 20.[26] There he batted .313./.396/.526 with 96 runs (4th in the league), 48 extra base hits, and 26 steals.[26][27] He was selected as the Dodgers 2012 "Minor League Player of the Year" (the "Branch Rickey Award"), and by as a Dodgers organization All Star.[23][28][29] Baseball America rated him the California League # 3 prospect, and the Best Defensive Outfielder and as having the Best Strike Zone Discipline in the Dodgers system.[16]

Pederson, by virtue of his Jewish heritage, played for the Israel national baseball team in the qualifying rounds of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, the youngest player on the team.[1][30] He batted second for Team Israel, and hit .308 with three steals.[31][32] The Dodgers then assigned him to the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, where he was an AFL Rising Star.[23] He was ranked the Dodgers' # 4 prospect by Baseball America (and # 3 prospect by after the 2012 season.[13][16]

He received a promotion to the AA Chattanooga Lookouts in the Southern League, starting the 2013 season as the youngest member of the team and the second-youngest position player in the league.[33][34] Pederson was selected to represent the US team at the All-Star Futures Game during the season,[35] and was also selected to play in the Southern League All Star game.[36] He hit .278 while leading the league in slugging percentage (.497), was second in home runs (22) and runs (81), third in stolen bases (31), on-base percentage (.381), and OPS (.878), and fifth in walks while batting leadoff, with 58 RBIs and 10 outfield assists in 123 games during the season.[6][34][37] He earned post-season All-Star honors, was a Topps Double-A All Star and a Baseball America Minor League All Star, and was Baseball America's # 7 prospect in the league.[6][23][38][39][40] In the Baseball America manager's poll, he was voted the best defensive outfielder and the most exciting player in the Southern League.[6] He then played winter ball for the Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he had a .439 on-base percentage.[41][42]

He was ranked the Dodgers' # 1 prospect by Baseball America after the 2013 season.[43]


In February 2014, he was named the 34th-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America.[44] The Dodgers invited him to spring training in the Spring of 2014.[45]

Pederson was then assigned to the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes to begin the 2014 season.[41] He was named minor league Prospect of the Month by in April 2014, as the hitter who excelled that month.[46] He had batted .398 (second-best in the league)/.504/.663 with 6 home runs and 9 steals, and ranked near the top of the minor league leaderboards in a number of categories, despite being the fifth-youngest position player in the Pacific Coast League, and almost five years younger than the average player in the league.[46][47][48][49] Ben Badler of Baseball America opined: "Pederson is the Dodgers' No. 1 prospect, No. 34 in baseball, and I still think he's underrated."[50]

Pederson was named to the mid-season Pacific Coast League All-Star team after batting .319/.437 (leading the PCL)/.568 (3rd in the PCL) with a 1.005 OPS (leading the PCL), 17 home runs (tied for 6th in the minor leagues), 57 walks (tied for first in the PCL), 58 runs scored (2nd in the PCL), and 20 stolen bases (3rd in the PCL), in 74 games.[51][52][53] In mid-season 2014, he was named the 17th-best prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus, and the 18th-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America.[54] On July 24, he became the second minor leaguer to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in 2014, and the first Isotopes player ever to have a 20/20 season.[55][56] In doing so, he became the second LA Dodger minor leaguer ever to have two 20/20 minor league seasons, joining Mike Marshall who did it in 1979 and 1981.[57]

On August 23, in his 115th game of the season Pederson became the first player in the PCL in 80 years (since Frank Demaree in 1934, in 186 games), and the fourth all-time, to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season.[58] The only other Pacific Coast League hitters to do it were Lefty O'Doul (1927, in 189 games) and Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri (1925, in 197 games).[58][59] He was also only the second Dodger minor leaguer to ever do it, joining Chin-Feng Chen (1999; 31/31 for Class A San Bernardino).[58][60]

Pederson hit .303/.435 (leading the league)/.582 (3rd in the league) and led the PCL in runs (106), home runs (33), walks (100), and OPS (1.017), while stealing 30 bases (3rd in the league).[61] He set Isotopes single-season records for walks and runs scored.[62] He batted .306/.442/.573 against righties and .299/.422/.598 against lefties, while hitting .366 with runners on base.[63]

He was voted the 2014 PCL Most Valuable Player, named to the post-season All-PCL team, and named the PCL Rookie of the Year, which is awarded to a player in his first year at the AAA level.[64][65][66] He was also named by Baseball America as AAA Player of the Year, as a AAA All-Star, and to their 2014 Minor League All-Star team.[67][68] Pederson was selected as the Dodgers organization's "Minor League Player of the Year" for the second time (sharing the award with shortstop Corey Seager). He became the third Dodgers position player to win the award two times, joining Billy Ashley and Paul Konerko.[69]

Through 2014, his aggregate minor league stats were a hitting line of .302/.405/.524, with 84 home runs and 113 stolen bases in 1,641 at bats.[70]

Major Leagues

Los Angeles Dodgers (2014–present)


File:20140919 Joc Pederson at bat (1).JPG
Pederson with the Dodgers in 2014

Pederson was added to the Dodgers' 40-man roster and called up to the Majors for the first time on September 1, 2014.[71] Manager Don Mattingly said: "The people in our organization that have seen him the most say he's the best center fielder in our organization".[72]

He struck out as a pinch hitter in his Major League debut that night, against the Washington Nationals.[73] He started in center field the following day and picked up his first Major League hit on a single to right center off of Doug Fister in the second inning.[74] In 18 games, he had only four hits in 28 at-bats.[75]


After the Dodgers traded Matt Kemp in December 2014, the Los Angeles Times wrote that the team figured to start Pederson in center field in the 2015 season.[76] Baseball America named him the # 8 prospect in 2015, and ranked him the 13th-best prospect in baseball, and the # 2 outfield prospect, going into the 2015 season.[77][78][79]

After a strong spring training in which he led the team in home runs, RBIs, and runs scored, Pederson was announced as the Dodgers Opening Day starting center fielder for the 2015 season.[80][81] The prior two Dodgers rookies to both start on Opening Day and keep the job the entire season were Wilton Guerrero (in 1997) and Todd Hollandsworth (in 1996).[81] At 22 years of age, he was the youngest Dodgers opening day starting center fielder since Willie Crawford (in 1969), and the third-youngest player in the NL.[80][82]

He hit his first MLB home run on April 12 off of A. J. Schugel of the Arizona Diamondbacks.[83] He hit his first major league grand slam on May 1 off of Rubby De La Rosa of the Diamondbacks, with the estimated 446-foot shot being the longest home run hit by a Dodger at home since 2012, and the grand slam being the first for the Dodgers since Yasiel Puig hit one in June 2013.[84] The next day, he became became the first Dodgers rookie to homer in four consecutive games since Bill Sudakis in 1969, and became the youngest Dodgers rookie ever to do so.[85][86] Pederson hit two homers on May 6, marking seven straight hits that went for home runs, the first time that had been done since 2013 and the first time by a rookie since rookie status was defined in the major leagues in 1958.[87][88] On May 23, Pederson hit his third leadoff home run of the season, tying the Dodgers' rookie record set by Johnny Frederick in 1929.[89] Pederson's nine home runs in May tied James Loney (September 2007) for the Dodgers' record for home runs by a rookie in a calendar month.[90] His 13 home runs for the season through May 31 tied Orlando Cepeda (1958) for the second-most by a National League rookie through the end of May in baseball history, behind Albert Pujols (16 in 2001).[91][92]

See also


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External links