Dodgers News: Joc Pederson May Be Assigned Personal Hitting Coach
Dodgers News: Joc Pederson May Be Assigned Personal Hitting Coach
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

By now Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson’s struggles in the second half of the 2015 season have been discussed and dissected ad nauseam.

Looking beyond Pederson’s pedestrian .230 batting average in the first half, he had a .364 on-base percentage with 20 home runs and 40 RBIs.

His production dropped tot .178/.317/.300 with just six home runs and 14 RBIs after the All-Star break.

Pederson worked with Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire during the season, shortening his leg kick and swing, but never quite recaptured some of the magic he had through the first half of the season.

Given some of Pederson’s struggles, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said the club may hire a hitting coach to work with the 23 year old, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

GM Farhan Zaidi said Tuesday at the GM meetings in Florida that the Dodgers have looked into hiring a hitting instructor with big-league experience and a “reputation of being able to work with young guys” to work with Pederson this off-season.

While Pederson ended the 2015 season in less-than-stellar fashion, Zaidi believes the complete body of work is more complementary and telling:

“When you look at the totality of the season, for his rookie year it was about what we would have expected,” Zaidi said. “The way it transpired, the great first half and the struggles in the second half, makes it a little bit more of a story, but he’s a guy that hit homers and walked and struck out in the minors and he continued to have that profile in the big leagues.”

Throughout his young career Pederson has worked with Johnny Washignton, who was the bench coach with Triple-A Oklahoma City last season. The two developed a strong relationship that dates back to Pederson’s early days with the Dodgers organization, and they’ve worked extensively in years past.

While Zaidi mentioned hiring a hitting coach, Pederson told Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider over the weekend he planned to again work with Washington during the offseason. It’s currently unclear if a new hitting coach would mean Pederson works exclusively with who’s been assigned to him.

The Dodgers appear to be on the verge of losing hitting coach Mark McGwire to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the same position.