Dodgers: Three Players Facing Make or Break Seasons in 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Joc Pederson /
2 of 4
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 31: Joc Pederson /

Joc Pederson

The Dodgers have been down this road before with Yasiel Puig.  After they sent Puig down to Triple-A in 2016, he responded with a career year for the Dodgers in 2017.  Now, Joc Pederson is looking to write a similar story for his 2018 season.  Joc was sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City when the Dodgers acquired Curtis Granderson.  This season was a big disappointment for Joc as he only hit .212 with 11 home runs.  Joc did have a stellar World Series when he popped three home runs, but he needs to prove he figured something out and that it wasn’t just a bottle of lightning.

After Joc’s strong campaign in 2016 when he bashed 25 home runs and had an OPS over 800 the Dodgers thought Joc would get even better this year, but the opposite happened.  Joc appeared to put on some weight and was no longer a plus defender in centerfield.  Chris Taylor ended up taking the centerfield job by the horns and never looked back.  Farhan Zaidi even mentioned during the winter meetings that the Dodgers want Joc to improve his conditioning.

The 2018 season will be a make or break season for Joc Pederson since the Dodgers are always loaded with outfielders.  Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig are guaranteed starting spots, but Joc will try to take the left field job and run away with it.  If Joc once again struggles then the Dodgers could start Andrew Toles or Alex Verdugo.  The Dodgers also have outfield prospects on the way like DJ Peters, Yusniel Diaz, and Jeren Kendall.  If Joc once again struggles in 2018, then that will be the nail in the coffin of his Dodger career.