Dodgers: Unsung Heroes of the Regular Season
Since the second half of the 2015 season, Joc Pederson has felt like a disappointment. He set the stage for what many people thought would be an unreal career, hitting 23 home runs in the first half of his rookie season and then hitting just three in the entire second part of the season. 2016 was a story of the second half Pederson from the previous year: a player who could not hit the ball to make contact, he swung for the fences on every swing and struck out way too much.
2017 was much of the same and even got him demoted to Triple-A. But, this year, fans saw the Joc Pederson many had hoped for all of three years ago.
In 2018, Joc has worked his way to a 2.2 WAR and a 126 OPS+. The 26-year old left and center fielder has worked hard to cut down on the swings and misses, striking out just 84 times in 391 at-bats.
Pederson also got time at the leadoff spot where he set a franchise record in leadoff home runs with eight, all which contributed to his 25 total home runs. 2018 was also the first time Joc had more than 20 homers since 2016.
Finally, the quiet producer in Pederson set a career high in total bases with 204, three higher than his previous best set in his rookie year.
If this is the Joc Pederson that the Dodgers can expect, they may have both a consistent outfielder to work with as well as a leadoff hitter.