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.
|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↩