Born April 21, 1992 in Palo Alto, California. Drafted in the 11th round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft. Son of former major leaguer Stu Pederson. Listed at 6'1 and 185 lbs. Bats and throws left-handed.
Played 16 games for the Great Lakes Loons, batting .160/.288/.160. Recorded no extra base hits. Succeeded in two stolen base attempts. Drew 7 walks and struck out 9 times in 60 plate appearances. Played 2 games in center field, 11 in left and 3 in right.
Demoted to the rookie league Ogden Raptors where he played 68 games, batting .353/.429/.568. Hit 20 doubles, a triple and 11 home runs. Stole 24 bases in 29 attempts. Walked 36 times and struck out 54 in 310 plate appearances.
Like his father, Joc was on track to attend USC to on an athletic scholarship. However, the Dodgers persuaded him to forego his commitment with a $600,000 bonus.
The younger Pederson offers an intriguing package of tools, beginning with his advanced approach to hitting. He's patient and disciplined, drawing walks and working counts to get the pitch he can hit. He uses all fields and was better at pulling the ball last season.
He's well put together and strong, giving him the potential to hit for some power down the road. Right now, his swing is more geared toward line drives to the gaps. However, as he matures as a hitter, he should do a better job of recognizing and jumping on pitches he can drive.
Defensively, he spent time playing all three outfield positions in 2011 but fits best in a corner. His arm is strong enough for right. His speed is above average and gives him range with the glove as well as ability on the basepaths. He's lauded for his makeup, work ethic and instincts.
Average. While he has the potential for five average or better tools, he still has a ways to go. He failed to hit full season pitching in his brief stint with the Loons, though he was only 19. Hopefully his turn around in Ogden was a result of development and not based mainly of his environment or inferior competition.
Ogden's home park is one of the friendliest for hitters in the minors. That led to significant home/road splits, a difference of .200 points of OPS during his time in the Pioneer League. This is something to watch going forward.
Joc also needs to show that he's capable of handling lefties. While he did produce a solid average of .280 overall, he didn't hit for much power, producing only 6 doubles in 95 plate appearances. The good news is that he's already showing the ability to get on base against them.
Pederson's ceiling isn't the highest but he seems like a pretty safe bet to hit. His value would be higher if I thought he'd stay in center long term. Overall, I'm confident that he can be at least an average major leaguer if everything works out right.
Joc will likely start 2012 back in Great Lakes, where he'll have the opportunity to prove he's ready for full season ball. Many batters have had problems hitting for the Loons so Pederson will be up against it. He's polished enough to succeed and possibly reach Rancho Cucamonga by season's end.
Prospect Countdown: #6 Joc Pederson
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