Although Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson actually debuted back in 2014, it wasn’t until his breakout 2015 campaign that he really started turning heads.
In the first half of that season alone, Pederson ripped 20 home runs and walked in 15.8% of his plate appearances, forcing many to wonder if he might ultimately steal the NL Rookie of the Year award from the eventual winner, Kris Bryant.
Unfortunately, in the second half of that season, Pederson’s production tanked as his strikeout rate climbed and his power evaporated. He bounced back nicely in 2016, as an above average offensive contributor (128 wRC+) and quality, if unspectacular, defensive center fielder.
His 2017 season, however, saw him take another significant step backwards in both regards, and combined with an untimely injury and the pickup of Curtis Granderson, Pederson was sent to Triple-A for 17 games. It was a disappointing turn of events for a very promising young player.
But, like he’s already done many times in his young Major League career, Pederson bounced right back with an absolutely monster showing in the 2017 Postseason for the Dodgers, including last night’s 7th inning home run in Game 6 of the World Series:
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 1, 2017
As you can imagine, he was seriously pumped up to add a bit of insurance late in an elimination game at home:
— MLB (@MLB) November 1, 2017
But that homer was just one of three long balls he’s hit this postseason, en route to a ridiculous .316/.381/.947 slash line (233 wRC+!). Altogether, Pederson has added three doubles and three homers, scored six times and knocked in five runs … in just 10 games!
More than that, his five consecutive postseason games with an extra-base hit set a new Dodgers record, originally established back in 1953 and previously held by Billy Cox, Andre Ethier, and A.J. Ellis. For a player who had to spend some time down on the farm this summer, this has been quite the return to greatness.
Let’s see if he has anything left in him for Game 7 tonight …