Throughout the minor league season, the prospect staff here at Fake Teams will look at a number of prospects for your fantasy and dynasty teams. Some will be prospects that you'll see this year in the majors, while others are interesting targets in longer term formats. Up today is the top prospect in the Dodgers' system, outfielder Joc Pederson.
Weight: 185 lbs.
On 40-Man Roster: No
Protect After: 2014 Season
DOB: 4/21/1992 (Age 22 Season)
An 11th round draft pick by the Dodgers back in 2010, Pederson received a bonus of $600K, the second largest from the team that year despite his later draft round. He only appeared in three games that year, and was sent to the Dodgers' short-season affiliate in the Pioneer League to start his 2011 campaign. After hitting .353/.429/.568 with 11 home runs and 24 stolen bases in just 68 games, he finished the year with a three week stint at full season Low-A.
While it was expected that he would return to the Midwest League for the 2012 season, the Dodgers instead moved him more aggressively, sending him to High-A Rancho Cucamonga in the California League instead. Fast forward to the end of the season, and Pederson had put up another ridiculous line to the tune of .313/.396/.516 with 18 home runs, 22 stolen bases, and 96 runs scored in just 110 games.
Sent to AA last year, Pederson showed that he wasn't a mirage of the high-offense environments of the Cal League, hitting .278/.381/.497 with 22 home runs and 31 stolen bases. The big numbers that also stood out were the walk rate (13.5%) and his isolated power (.218), both of which were career highs. He spent most of spring training with the major league club, including playing in a couple of the exhibition games in Australia. While he didn't make the club, he is now at AAA Albuquerque, and has already hit a home run through the first two games.
The Scouting Report
Hit (AVG): Pederson shows a good approach at the plate, and has shown the ability to hit the ball to all fields. There are platoon split concerns, as he hit over 100 points worse against lefties than righties, as well as for drastically less power. Overall, he projects to have the potential to provide solid production in batting average (.270+), with a very nice split for players in OBP leagues.
Power (HR, RBI): Pederson has shown solid power throughout the minors, the owner of a career .503 slugging percentage and at least 31 extra base hits each year. He is expected to provide at least average power production at the major league level, translating to 10-15 home runs per year with the potential for more as he continues to develop.
Speed (R, SB): Pederson has stolen at least 26 bases in each of his first three full seasons in the minors, and is considered to be an above-average runner. The speed is expected to translate to the major league level, and could potentially be a 20+ stolen base threat each year.
Defense: Pederson is considered to be an above-average defender in center field, and able to play the position in the major leagues. He could handle either corner position if needed as well, as his arm is considered strong enough to play in right field as well. Where he ends up in the outfield would be dependent upon who is on the roster when he is brought up.
When Could He Arrive?
Pederson is on the short list of call ups for the Dodgers should the team need an outfielder due to a long-term injury. He is not currently on the 40-man roster, which could delay his call up somewhat if the need is expected to be short-term.
What Can He Do When He Gets There?
In a full season in the majors, I can see Pederson providing solid all-around production, giving above-average production overall due to not having any specific category weakness. A line of .275, 12 HR, 20 SB, 80 runs and 70 RBI seems in line with his scouting reports.
Pederson is an interesting target, in that he would be an absolutely perfect candidate for buy-and-hold if there were a clearer path to playing time. Obviously, the four outfielders that the Dodgers have in the majors aren't exactly the shining beacons of health that you would want given their contract size, and his potential as a call up would be much greater if at least one ended up with a long-term injury. He seems likely to get a shot in the majors within the next 12 months, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Dodgers ended up using Pederson as a trade chip given that depth.
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