Since September 2014, Joc Pederson has been a power-hitting outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He performed admirably in the postseason, causing teammate Alex Wood to coin the nickname “Joctober.”
The Dodgers expected great performances from Pederson from the beginning of his Major-League career, but Pederson has never performed up to expectations, except in power. He can outslug most Major Leaguers, even Mike Trout.
Being left-handed, Pederson does not hit left-handed pitching; therefore, manager Dave Roberts has platooned him in the outfield. A .230 career hitter, Pederson does not possess much knowledge of the strike zone. During the abbreviated 2020 season, he had a .190 batting average with 34 strikeouts and 11 walks. A .285 on-base percentage will not allow Pederson to create many scoring opportunities unless he hits a home run.
When Pederson reached the Dodgers in 2014, he could run reasonably fast. Now, six years later, he is a station-to-station runner. He does not have good base-running knowledge. He is ordinary on the bases for a Major Leaguer.
Before 2017, Pederson was an excellent center fielder, routinely making spectacular catches. His throwing arm was the only average for a Major-League outfielder, resulting in a few outfield assists. A shoulder injury weakened Pederson’s throws. His lost running speed does not allow him to play center field anymore. Pederson was never as athletic as Cody Bellinger. Although Pederson does not possess the strongest throwing arm, he can play both right and left field.
In 2019, the Dodgers attempted to put Pederson at first base. In 20 games at first base, Pederson committed 8 errors, and his fellow infielders were uncomfortable throwing to him. The Dodgers finally recognized Pederson was no future occasional first baseman.
Although Pederson typically provides some postseason heroics, the Dodgers have better uses for re-signing one-dimensional Pederson for upwards of $7 million a year.