Joc Pederson is Dodgers Homerun Derby King
Joc Pederson was born to participate in the Homerun Derby. After huge disappointments from Dodgers in past derbies (Yasiel Puig put up a big goose egg last year), I was hesitant to get too excited about this year’s derby.
Dodger Derby Homeruns:
1993- Mike Piazza 0
1994- Mike Piazza 0
1995- Raul Mondesi 2
2005- Hee-Seop Choi 5
2011- Matt Kemp 2
20121 Matt Kemp 1
2014- Yasiel Puig 0
2015- Joc Pederson 39
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The two youngest competitors, Pederson and Manny Machado, went head-to-head in the first round of the All-Star Game Homerun Derby on Monday night at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, and I was unexpectedly jumping up and down in my living room while watching Joc hit 13 homeruns in the first round to knock Machado out and move on to the semifinals! With 66 seconds to spare!
That swing though.
Joc Pederson may get flack for not shortening up his swing at times, but this night his swing was showcased on a national stage for all to appreciate. Joc didn’t even need his bonus time to beat Machado in the first round, and he looked easy and free in his derby performance.
I really liked the new Homerun Derby format with the time limits this year. The action went by much quicker, and the head-to-head competition was fun. Hometown favorite Todd Frazier had the crowd behind him, and I knew he would be tough to beat.
In the second round, Joc took a bit of time to get into a rythm, but he ended up with 12 homeruns. I was admittedly getting nervous when Albert Pujols took his turn, but he ended up hitting one less homerun (11) than Joc who advanced to the finals to take on Todd Frazier.
Jul 13, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; National League outfielder Joc Pederson (31) of the Los Angeles Dodgers at bat during the 2015 Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game at Great American Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
There was also a very touching moment on the sidelines when Joc’s older brother Champ was embraced by Albert Pujols.
In the finals, Joc Pederson once again impressed with 14 homeruns. Johnny Washington was amazing as Joc’s derby pitcher, and he served up 39 homeruns (a Dodgers record) in total to the rookie.
Unfortunately Todd Frazier was able to hit 15 homeruns using his bonus time to beat out Joc for the win. Joc still put on quite the show, and the young rookie has many more homerun derbies ahead of him.
On Tuesday, Joc Pederson will start in left field in the All-Star Game for the National League.
You did us proud, Joc!