Dodgers Predictions: Joc Pederson Hits Full Stride in 2017

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There is a Nostradamus on the Dodgers. Last night, when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were down 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Joc Pederson tweeted this:

Indeed, the Patriots scored 28 unanswered points to tie, and got the go ahead touchdown in overtime to win the game. Joc could’ve looked like just a big fan who believed in his team, (or, more likely Tom Brady), but instead ended up looking like a genius. He actually called it a bit before the game, too. While at FanFest, Joc was asked about what he thought about the upcoming game.

I would like to see the Falcons, but Tom Brady is special. He’s a competitor, stays composed, and he’s a winner. So, I think the Patriots are going to win, even though I want the Falcons to win.

Reading through the Twitter responses are quite humorous. But he doesn’t predict the success of himself or the Dodgers. Also, according to Twitter, Joc has spent the offseason on vacation with his family, playing with his dog, and working out. Steamer has some projections, though. They have Pederson with a slash line of .239/.353/.455 with 25 home runs. Compare that to last year’s stats of .246/.352/.495 and 25 home runs.

In Dennis’s piece discussing the whole outfield, he included a quote from Dodgers hitting coach Turner Ward about Pederson, and how he has a ton of raw power, and he just needs to harness it. I have always believed that while Joc may not end up being a superstar, he’s certainly capable of more than he is producing.

If anything, Joc definitely looks like he is very dedicated to being in shape when spring training starts this year. He even showed a picture of himself on his Twitter working out in an airport as he had a delayed flight. He and Adrian Gonzalez have #nodaysoff competition going, and as a fan of the team you love to see that.

Last year, Joc didn’t hit much against left-handers. He bats very well against right-handed pitching, but he only batted against left-handed pitching 77 times. It will interesting to see whether this season he will be allowed to face more left hand pitching, or whether he will again be used in a platoon-that-is-not-a-platoon with Trayce Thompson, providing that Thompson fully recovers from his back injury. Pederson did spend a little time on the DL in 2016 after running into the wall in Milwaukee, but recovered nicely to make many more fantastic catches.

This will be Joc’s fourth season with the Dodgers, and third as the starting center fielder. He has steadily improved bit by bit over those four years, and I expect this season to be no different.  This is the year that Joc will hit his stride, and be the perfect anchor in the Dodgers outfield.

(Follow Andy on Twitter: @DodgerGirlinPA)

 

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