Though the Los Angeles Dodgers fell short of ending their 29-year World Series drought, there were many encouraging aspects to take away from the disappointing end result. One was the revitalization of Joc Pederson, who struggled during the regular season.
Since becoming an everyday player in 2015, Pederson posted career-lows in home runs (11), on-base percentage (.331) and slugging percentage (.407). He was demoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City in August and initially wasn’t expected to be featured on the postseason rosters.
But the ineffectiveness of midseason acquisition Curtis Granderson helped pave the way for Pederson’s inclusion. Among his most noteworthy hits in the World Series was a long, three-run home run in the ninth inning of Game 5 that extended the Dodgers’ lead to 6-1 over the Houston Astros.
Following the homer, Pederson shouted “You like that?” into the Dodgers’ dugout — a familiar catchphrase of Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. Per Scott Allen of The Washington Post, Cousins approved of Pederson’s gesture:
“That’s good to see,” Cousins said. “I’m just hoping we can have many more ‘You like that’ moments here with the Redskins. I may have to send Joc a T-shirt. Clearly, he’s feeling the same vibes that I was feeling. You know what, when you play at the highest level in the biggest games, in those moments, that’s what comes out.”
In 20 World Series plate appearances, the 25-year-old hit a robust .333/.400/.944 with two doubles, three home runs and five RBI. Overall, he accumulated six hits and scored six runs to boot.
Pederson additionally took part in the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs, where he collected one hit — a double — in five at-bats.
Depending on how the winter plays out, the Palo Alto, Calif. native figures to once again have a prominent role in the Dodgers’ outfield rotation next season.