Dodgers News: Joc Pederson Considered Top-10 Center Fielder By MLB Network’s Brian Kenny
Dodgers News: Joc Pederson Considered Top-10 Center Fielder By Mlb Network’s Brian Kenny
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After spending September 2014 up with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Joc Pederson was primed to take over in center field last season. He entered Spring Training in a competition of sorts with Andre Ethier, as the corner outfield spots were filled by Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig.

Although an official announcement never came during camp or at the conclusion of the Dodgers’ exhibition schedule, Pederson ran out to center field on Opening Day in what marked the beginning of a quick rise for the 23 year old.

Pederson became the first rookie position player in franchise history to start an All-Star Game. He also participated in the Home Run Derby, falling just short to then-hometown hero Todd Frazier.

However, Pederson’s slump leading up to the Midsummer Classic spilled over to the second half of the 2015 season, and he ultimately was supplanted in center field by Kiké Hernandez.

Despite closing the season on somewhat of a downturn, Pederson was ranked by MLB Network’s Brian Kenny as the eight-best center fielder entering this season:

“Joc Pederson is my wild card. I know he swooned in the second half, but you know I love the plate discipline. I think it’s there for this kid and I’m kind of taking a flier on him.”

MLB Network’s The Shredder did not view Pederson in the same light as Kenny. Coincidentally, last year The Shredder rated Puig as the third-best center fielder. He was ninth when that same group of players was ranked based on WAR, with Puig only managing a 1.1 value.

While Pederson has great speed and played a steady center field, he was credited with a minus-three in defensive runs saved. At the plate, Pederson finished the year batting .210/.346/.417 with 26 home runs, 54 RBIs, 170 strikeouts, 92 walks, a .335 wOBA and 115 wRC+.

Complete rankings of top-10 center fielders below:

RankThe ShredderEric ByrnesBrian Kenny
1Mike Trout (LAA)Mike Trout (LAA)Mike Trout (LAA)
2A.J. Pollock (ARI)Andrew McCutchen (PIT)Andrew McCutchen (PIT)
3Lorenzo Cain (KC)A.J. Pollock (ARI)Lorenzo Cain (KC)
4Andrew McCutchen (PIT)Lorenzo Cain (KC)A.J. Pollock (ARI)
5Jason Heyward (CHC)Adam Jones (BAL)Adam Jones (BAL)
6Adam Eaton (CWS)Jackie Bradley Jr. (BOS)Jason Heyward (CHC)
7Kevin Kiermaier (TB)Jason Heyward (CHC)Carlos Gomez (HOU)
8Randal Grichuk (STL)Kevin Kiermaier (TB)Joc Pederson (LAD)
9Carlos Gomez (HOU)Kevin Pillar (TOR)Kevin Kiermaier (TB)
10Adam Jones (BAL)Adam Eaton (CWS)Adam Eaton (CWS)