Coming off a World Series in which he was the favorite to win the Most Valuable Player award if the Los Angeles Dodgers were to win, many people had high expectations for Joc Pederson going into the 2018 season.
Pederson had an extremely rough Spring Training though, leading to many people feeling that he should have begun the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Dodgers front office and coaching staff stuck with him though, and he is now rewarding them for that. Despite a slow start to the regular season, Pederson has come on as of late and is currently one of the hottest hitters on the planet, slugging seven home runs in the month of June which leads all of baseball.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts paid Pederson the ultimate compliment, singling him out as the one player on the team that has matured the most so far this season, via Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider:
“You look at all the players on the roster, I think the player who has probably grown the most, in my opinion, is probably Joc,” said manager Dave Roberts. “He started off slow this year, didn’t have a great Spring (Training). But to trust the work he was putting in on a daily basis, and he’s been relentless with that, and it’s kind of showing itself right now. It’s a credit to him, the coaches and the trust. Joc’s really been a big part of what we’re doing.”
Pederson is currently having a career-year at the plate, slashing .281/.350/.556 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 62 games. In 30 at-bats this month, he is hitting .433/.433/1.300 with 10 RBI.
The 26-year-old former All-Star began the season as a bat off the bench for Roberts, but he has become almost an everyday starter in recent weeks, which likely will continue as long as he his swinging the bat well.
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