Quick Pitches: How Does Joc Pederson's April Stack Up

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Joc Pederson just wrapped up an incredible first month in AAA. His 1.167 OPS through Wednesday leads1 the Pacific Coast League and with the slow starts of Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, the calls to dump one of them for magic beans2 and bring Pederson up have been growing. However, since Albuquerque is a magical place where baseballs get turned into suborbital launch vehicles, it's important to put Pederson's month into some perspective. Here's the best months put up in an Isotopes uniform since 20113, via Minor League Central.

Player Age Date PA Triple Slash OPS
Tim Federowicz 25 May 2013 60 .367/.458/.857 1.315
Scott Van Slyke 26 April 2013 109 .419/.478/.774 1.251
Alex Castellanos 25 April 2012 88 .366/.477/.747 1.224
Trent Oeltjen 29 July 2012 119 .409/.471/.733 1.204
Tim Federowicz 23 August 2011 89 .361/.461/.708 1.169
Joc Pederson 22 April 2014 119 .398/.504/.663 1.167
Trayvon Robinson 23 June 2011 117 .359/.456/.689 1.125

As good as Pederson's April has been, it's not an unprecedented tear that suggests he's ready for the bigs now. That current scapegoat Tim Federowicz has not one, but two months better than Joc's hot start should be a sign that even numbers that gaudy don't necessarily translate to big league success. If you combine that with other factors like a .524 BABIP and a 24.4% strike out rate it's best to let Pederson develop for a bit in AAA. Joc is still who we thought he was at the beginning of the season: a very good prospect with a lot of promise, but he's not an elite guy you should hand a spot to with no safety net. It's always tempting to rush a guy to the bigs, but there's no need to mash Joc into an already complicated outfield situation he's probably not ready for.

1. Number three is Eugenio Velez. Really.

2. Or regular ones, that's cool too.

3. Minimum 60 PA

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