Dodger Prospect #38 - SS Jaime Pedroza

While Bill Shelley is on medical leave, we continue our series, taking a look at his top Dodger prospects as we count down to the very best. Today- Prospect #38, SS Jaime Pedroza.

Jaime Pedroza was comfortable playing in Ogden after being drafted in the ninth round by the Dodgers and assigned to the Raptors in the Pioneer League. "My brother was always telling me stuff about Ogden so when I got here I knew quite a bit about it," Jaime said.

His brother, Sergio, was a third-round pick of the Dodgers in 2005 and played 21 games for the Raptors that year. Ironically, last season he played for the Vero Beach Devil Rays, hitting .287 with 21 doubles, 20 homers and 59 RBIs in the Florida State League.

Jaime left UC Riverside after his junior season. He had hit .325 and led the team in doubles (17), homers (13) and RBIs (55), leading the Highlanders to their first-ever Big West Conference Championship and a No. 7 national ranking.

"We had a great season at Riverside and I talked to my coaches about that and it was time to follow what I wanted to do, which is play pro ball. I went ahead and did," he told Bill Shelley.

The decision to leave Riverside wasn't an easy one, however. He was the only player on the team to start all 59 games for the Highlanders.

"That's what you want as a player," he said. "You want to be out there every day. You don't want to be switching off with someone else," he said.

As most players, he felt he should have gone in an earlier round, "but I'm not in control of that," he said. "I have to come out and play like I'm a better player than that. I just keep coming out and doing what I'm doing."

What he was doing was plenty good for the Dodgers, making his ninth round pickup a real bargain.

He closed out the season by hitting .383 over the final 24 games, slugging seven of his eight homers and knocking in 27 runs. He finished the season second in the league with a .360 average, eight home runs and 40 runs batted in.

Despite his size (5-10, 171), he was second among the Dodgers short-season team with a .569 slugging average and added a .413 on-base percentage to finish with a .982 On-Base Plus Slugging record, also second. He was second with 76 hits, led short season teams with 18 doubles, tied for third with eight homers and was also third with 40 RBI.

All remarkable numbers for a shortstop in his rookie season -- or any season for that matter.

In the middle of his August surge, he was 10-for-19 with three doubles, two homers and eight RBIs.

A switch hitter, he hit over .350 against lefties and over .325 against righties, and at home at Lindquist Field he's crafted a .370 average.

He has a strong work ethic and won't change that. "I need to keep coming out and swinging the bat well and being aggressive and play my game," he said.

He will open at Inland Empire in 2008 and, as a college player, will be moved along on the fast track, perhaps seeing some time in Jacksonville.

His record:
Jaime Pedroza    bb  tr  5-10  175
Born: Sept. 12, 1986
Obtained- selected in ninth round of 2007 draft.

year	team     ave  obp  ops  gm   ab  r  h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
2007	Ogden	.360 .41  .982  56  211 33 76  18  1  8  50  4

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