Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Other Guy at Chattanooga

Joc Pederson, one of the youngest players in the Southern League this season. (photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Free Press)
All of this talk about Dodger farm product phenom Yasiel Puig has made many overlook the best performing hitting prospect in the Dodgers minor league system this season, Joc Pederson.

As a 21 year old in the Southern League, only one player is younger in the league.  Despite his youth and lack of experience, Pederson is tearing AA ball up.  Through 32 games he leads the league in OPS (1.013), Slugging % (.613), Home Runs (7), Runs scored (28), and Total Bases (73).  He’s in the top 10 in batting average (.328, 6th), On Base % (.400, 9th), and Stolen bases (8, 9th).   His defense has been nearly flawless (on error, 4 assists from center field) and he has yet to ground into a double play in 135 plate appearances. 
The Southern League isn’t known as a hitters league, but Pederson isn’t having any problems with it.  Three years removed from high school now, the Palo Alto native is approaching an organizational logjam with the Dodger organization’s upper levels stocked with outfielders.  The big three of Kemp, Ethier and Crawford are entrenched with the big club while Yasiel Puig waits in the wings.   I hope this doesn’t mean that Pederson will become trading fodder because this young kid will be good.  

With the recent troubles in the bigs and a need to shake things up, there’s talk of Puig ascending to the bigs, but it would be interesting to see how Pederson fares in the majors at such a young age.  I’m not recommending it, because another two years of minor league seasoning will do him good, but I think he’d hold his own on the big league level.  Pederson has thrived at a young age in leagues chalked full of players with more seasoning under their belt.  He has the goods to make it to the highest levels.  I'm just hoping that it's in a Dodger uniform.

Pederson sweet left handed stroke is often noted by scouts. (photo by Michael Murphy at www.Nooga.com)

Pederson was an 11th round pick in 2011 who has performed at all levels in the Dodger system.  Scouting reports praise his patience at the plate and his keen batting eye.  They speak highly of his work ethic, speed,  base running knowledge, throwing arm,  and ability to competently field all outfield positions.

His perfect day 3 for 3 day (with two walks) on the field in Wednesday's action received some Dodger blog coverage.  Add to that his fast start and league leading stats and it is understandable that he'll attract some attention.  Pederson is definitely a prospect to watch closely this coming year.

1 comment:

  1. Evan - I have watched and am watching Joc. Last season after Puig started to play, I suggested that Joc was ahead of Yasiel. I know it is probably heresy, but I still think he is. He is a more complete player than Yasiel, which is understandable given Yasiel has missed considerable playing time getting out of Cuba.

    Yasiel is an awesome physical specimen with huge power potential. Joc is just an awesome player. He has a good BB/K ratio of 15/23.

    I fear he will be a trade chip.