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Will Pederson ever break through the log jam in the Dodgers outfield?
Even before this season, Joc Pederson had emerged as the Dodgers’ top overall prospect (No. 34 on Baseball America’s preseason list of the top 100 prospects in baseball). While the Dodgers’ crowded outfield situation is impeding Pederson’s path to the majors, he is doing everything in his power to force the team’s hand.
Like Lee, the 22-year-old Pederson is also in his first year at Triple-A Albuquerque. Pederson is making the promotion look easy, posting a ridiculous .389/.495/.644 slash line with five home runs and seven stolen bases in 109 plate appearances.
While Pederson reminds many of a young Andre Ethier, keeping him in the minors for more seasoning may not be a bad thing.
Pederson absolutely crushes right handed pitching. But as ESPN.com’s Chris Crawford points out in his latest fantasy baseball prospect ranking’s (Insider subscription required to access full article), Pederson shares Ethier’s penchant for struggling mightily against lefties.
That may be a weakness that Pederson carries throughout his career. However, the Dodgers have the luxury of letting him improve on his approach against lefties for an entire season if necessary.
Barring an injury or a trade, Pederson is unlikely to get a promotion from the Dodgers before September. But it will be interesting to see if they become more likely to trade one of their high-priced outfielders if Pederson continues to produce at this rate.
I’m sure Ned Colletti would love to shed at least a little salary, particularly if Los Angeles plans on re-signing Hanley Ramirez to a new long-term contract before next season.