Joc Pederson was the first of the Dodgers' highly-touted prospect triumvirate to reach the majors. Here is a look back at his stellar 2014 season.
What went right
Pederson had one of the most memorable minor league seasons in Dodgers history, hitting .303/.435/.582 with 106 runs scored and 100 walks in 121 games with Triple-A Albuquerque. With 33 home runs and 30 stolen bases, Pederson was the first 30-30 player in the Pacific Coast League in 80 years.
That earned the center fielder Most Valuable Player honors in the PCL, and his first major league promotion on Sept. 1. He also won co-Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year honors with Corey Seager, the second time in three years Pederson was named the top minor league hitter in the organization.
He wasn't a high-elevation fabrication in Triple-A. Pederson, whose swing has been compared by manager Don Mattingly to both Robinson Cano and Carlos Gonzalez, hit .278/.402/.591 with 16 homers and 44 bases on balls on the road in Triple-A.
Pederson saw his way into 18 of the Dodgers' 25 games in September, and despite limited playing time (38 plate appearances, three starts) tied for the team lead with nine walks in the season's final month.
What went wrong
Though Pederson showed patience at the plate (4.39 pitches per PA; MLB average was 3.82), he was just 4-for-28 (.143) with the Dodgers with no extra-base hits and 11 strikeouts.
In the minors, Pederson missed two weeks in June and July with a slightly separated right shoulder, suffered on a diving catch attempt.
Salary: $500,000 (pro-rated minimum salary for his time in the majors)
Game of the year
There weren't too many to choose from with just one month worth of games in the majors. We'll go with Sept. 13 in San Francisco, when Pederson walked twice in three plate appearances and scored his only major league run (to date) in a 17-0 win over the Giants.
Pederson earned 28 days of service time with his September call-up, and has three option years remaining. He is destined for a major league outfield spot very soon, but whether it comes with the Dodgers depends on the moves the team makes this winter. While Mattingly is firmly in Pederson's corner, he also preaches caution about his young outfield prospect.
"The one thing I don't like doing, because I've seen it backfire, is just anointing somebody. It's not fair. They don’t get to be a kid. They don’t get to be a rookie, you know? They walk in with this expectation and it’s just not fair because there’s going to be mistakes, there’s going to be struggles – for everyone," Mattingly said in October. "But I think he can play in the big leagues, that’s for sure."