Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Joc Strapping, But Wedged In Minor Leagues

Despite rocking it in Chattanooga, Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson can only look at the Dodgers' crowded outfield and sigh, says's Mark Saxon:

Many people in the Dodgers’ organization think Pederson will be major-league ready some time this season. The team’s 2012 Minor League Player of the Year, Pederson had an .878 OPS with 22 home runs and 31 stolen bases at Chattanooga. He was picked for the Futures Game, then polished off his season by playing 34 games in Venezuela at the team’s request.

He is viewed as a stalwart everyday major-league outfielder one day. If he ever figures out how to hit left-handed pitching, he could be far better than that.

Yet, to break into the Dodgers’ outfield, the team would have to trade at least two of its well-paid outfielders or see at least two of its outfielders go down with injury. If you paid attention last season, the latter scenario seems more likely than the former.

The outfielders who are blocking Pederson are still in their primes -- and signed to long-term deals -- or, in Puig’s case, just a year older than Pederson. So, if the Dodgers make a trade, he’s as likely to be the person looking for a new apartment as Matt Kemp or Carl Crawford.

“Obviously, I don’t want to get traded. Being in L.A. would be something special and it’s close to home, but the Dodgers would be just trying to win and I understand that,” Pederson said. “I’m not really competing with a normal outfield. You have four superstars.”

(Okay, I just wanted to use the headline. I confess.)