Why The Rush To Trade Joc?

I am not sure why there is such an affinity by so many Dodgers fans to trade Joc Pederson, or for some to simply dump him.  He is a 26 year old immature little kid who still thinks he is playing little league for fun.  He loves the game.  Maybe it is because of his brother Champ that he does not take the game as seriously as some would like.  Or maybe Champ puts the game in proper perspective for Joc.  I do not see any player getting more excited for a big play for LAD than Joc.  Other than maybe Charlie Culberson, who had a more enjoyable time at the WS than Joc?  Maybe he played as well as he did because he was not wound up as tight as the others.  Maybe Clayton Kershaw can learn something from Joc.

 

I understand more than most that MLB is more than a game.  It is a BIG business, with lots of dollars.  But in the MLB version of Monopoly, the $2M Joc is projected to make in arbitration is immaterial.  Joc is more Mediterranean Ave. and Baltic Ave. than Boardwalk and Park Place.

 

I understand that Joc is an enigma.  Sure maybe he does not make the adjustments that Corey or Cody do, but he can hit the ball a long way when he does.  He is not an elite CF, and he may not be as good as Toles as an overall baseball talent.  I do think he would be a good platoon partner with Kike’ but so could Toles.  And maybe Verdugo will be better than them all.  But for someone who can hit the ball as hard and as far as Joc does, there is a place in MLB for him.  Maybe it is not with the Dodgers, but he does have value.  He is more than salary dump.

 

I have been as critical of Joc and his splits against LHP as much as anyone else.  He cannot be an everyday LF or CF with his inability to consistently hit LHP.  Maybe he will never be more than a platoon OF; a #4 or #5 OF.  But every team needs them and carries them on the roster.  Why not Joc?  Joc has never done anything to hurt the team as Puig has done in the past.  But apparently Yaisel has turned the page, and is no longer the pariah he once was.  At 26 are we really ready to give up on Joc’s ability to hit the ball a long way?

 

Joc – 2017 Overall – .212/.331/.407/.738

Joc – 2017 vs. LHP – .204/.291/.306/.597

 

Certainly not pretty, and certainly not worthy of consideration as an everyday OF.  But let’s compare that to a player who seems to be somewhat idolized by his home team’s fans:

 

2017 Overall – .211/.315/.467/.782

2017 vs. LHP – .171/.306/.341/.648

 

That second player cannot play a lick of defense, and yet the Cubs fans love Kyle Schwarber.  They do not want Schwarber traded unless there is a huge return.  Kyle is 24 while Joc is 26 so that may provide some reasoning.  Not to me.  Is it because the Cubs won the WS and the Dodgers did not?   The Dodgers did not lose the WS because of Joc Pederson, so that can’t be it.  Are Cubs fans more loyal to their players than Dodgers fans?  I do not think so overall.  Maybe it is because so much was expected from Joc.  But no more than Cubs fans expected from Schwarber.

 

No, I think it is more due to how each of the players approach the game.  Schwarber is far more intense, while Joc is more laid back.  I think Joc comes across as more aloof.  But I harken back to why I think Joc may not APPEAR to take the game as serious as many would like; Champ Pederson.  As a young teenager, I would routinely get my ass kicked by the neighborhood bullies by sticking up for a neighbor kid with down syndrome.  His family became my surrogate family.  We were good for each other.  Because of that experience, my goal in life had always been to retire early enough where I could be a fulltime volunteer for the Special Olympics.  I was not able to retire early enough, but I still plan to volunteer when I do retire.

 

I think Champ Pederson puts a different perspective and priority for MLB for Joc.  I do not think Joc tries less (maybe he tries too hard), works less, or cares less than any other player.  But his persona may give others a different impression.

 

This post was in NO way inspired by anyone on this site.  This site more than any other site has fans who are respectful in their remarks about the players (Dodgers or not) and fellow posters.  That is not true with other sites.  I think anonymous posters feel they can say anything they want about another human being (sports and otherwise).  I got tired of reading some of the vile comments about Joc that were not baseball related. I may be critical of Joc and his baseball results, but he will always be a great person for me.

 

For those who have not read the following, I highly recommend it.  Maybe it will give you a different outlook at Joc Pederson.  It also helps define why the Dodgers are a family.

https://www.theplayerstribune.com/joc-pederson-brother-champ-dodgers-down-syndrome/

For all of you out there reading LADT, I wish each of you,

A Very Merry Christmas!!

 

Posted by Always Compete

This article has 13 Comments

  1. My prediction is that Joc has a great year and turns it all around! He will hit for power and average this year…mark my words! That’s my prediction! 🙂 I like Joc. I did not like Van Slyke…at all. I like Grandal and think Barnes makes a wonderful back up! I like Toles and I think Kemp is should be DfA’d unless they can get something for him. I like Hill and think he should be allowed to throw more than 60 pitches in a game. I’m not sure about Baez but he could be something special with another pitch. I like Garcia and hope he comes back strong! I love Seager, Bellinger, Taylor, and JT. Puig as changed my opinion of him and I feel he is onboard and pulling in the right direction. I don’t think Kemp can ever do that. I love Forsythe’s defense but am not so sure about his offense. It will be interesting to see how Bellinger and Taylor handle their sophomore season. I am not sold on Alvarez. He got his money and now as his toys and won’t do the necessary work to become an elite pitcher. That’s my take and like Mark I don’t want to be confused by the facts! Have a Merry Christmas to you all for all the hours of enjoyment you have provided for me.

  2. I think that Dodger fans have been frustrated with Joc in part because of his untapped potential.
    1 – I think that he moves on the ball like a CF better than any other player on the team (including Taylor). He runs right routes.
    2 – His minor league performance suggested that he would do better at the major league level.
    3 – He has had periods of great productivity followed by failure.

    I’m in no particular hurry to trade Joc, BUT
    The Dodgers have other LH hitting OF (Verdugo, Toles) and with a 4 man bench, there’s only room for so many. (A 5 man rotation and an 8 man bullpen means 8 starting position players and a 4 man bench.) Assuming that the backup catcher (Barnes or Grandal, depending on who the starter is)will be one and that the platoon LF (Kike Hernandez) is one, that leaves room for 1 LH corner OF (the one who isn’t starting) and 1 other guy, probably another INF, preferably LH hitting).

    It looks to me like Verdugo starts the season in OKC unless he forces the matter in spring training. This assumes that Kemp is gone before the season starts. There’s only room for so many OF on the bench.

  3. AC

    What did Joc and Culberson have in commmon, they both were very lucky to be playing in the World Series, so I would hope they would act the way.

    And about Schwarber, he hasn’t played three seasons like Joc has, and he had to come back from a terrible injury.

    And in his recovery, he worked very hard, to get back for the post season.

    And he made it, and he helped his team, win there World Series.

    A couple of weeks ago, I read more about Joc, then Toles on here.

    And I think what Joc did during the whole season, and did in AAA, means much more, then what Joc did, in seven games.

    I didn’t see anything different in Joc’s approach, or his game, in those seven games.

    And I don’t think the coaches have anything to do with the approach Joc has used, the last three years either.

    And that may be Joc’s Issue.

    I feel Joc didn’t take advantage of the chances he was given.

    And not many young players, get three years, to prove them selves, like Joc has, on a team like the Dodgers.

    And Toles has worked hard, and took advantage, of every chance he was given!

    Toles has showed me more then Joc has, when it comes to hitting, in the short time, he has been on this team!

    There are not many players, that could hit their way up from A ball, to the majors, like Toles did.

    And I think that says a lot, about Toles.

    Toles had to earn his place, on this team with every chance, he was given.

    Joc was given centerfield, even after he had that first bad offensive, season.

    The truth is Joc didn’t have a good season this year, and this wasn’t the first time Joc has had issues, with his hitting, and his approach.

    And when he was sent down to AAA,, he really didn’t earn his way back on this team.

    Joc was really lucky that Granderson, didn’t do well.

  4. Concerning Joc: Remember last off season when so many fan wanted to get rid of Puig? Some still want to move him, but most are glad he is still a Dodger. So far as having 3 seasons to prove his worth, do you remember how long it took Koufax to become a great pitcher? Joc may never be great, but the potential is there. He needs to drop some weight and get in better shape. Choke the bat and shorten the swing, especially with 2 strikes! It would be great if he could bunt against the shift. (That goes for many other players as well)!

  5. AC
    My problem with Joc is what he doesn’t do, more then what he does, and I think you nailed it, Joc is a 26-year-old immature little kid who still thinks he is playing little league for fun.
    He hits the ball hard and long, but not close to anything consistent. He doesn’t work at improving his game like Seager, Bellinger, Turner, Taylor, and even Puig. I think the game came to easy for him and he fell in love with the long home run and has not( at least so far) shown he will change. The Dodgers have many players that are working very hard to be the starting left fielder, and just maybe Toles, Verdugo, and the others have learned that this is a game, but it’s not played by immature little kids who still think they are playing little league for fun.
    Maybe with the other players, it’s not being in the majors as much as it is succeeding in the majors, with Joc maybe it’s just being in the majors.

  6. AC, Mark and all the LADT folks!! May you have a great Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year…Little woman is taking me down to check out the beach… Just viewing though as recovery is slow but cabin fever has gotten to me… That and 70+ deg. weather…
    Best ST ever is right around the corner and alot of questions to be answered…

  7. I very much appreciated and respect AC’s initial remarks concerning Joc. Especially

    ” Or maybe Champ puts the game in proper perspective for Joc”.

    It is difficult to get into someone else’s head and figure out their attitude and motivations. But one thing that isn’t hard to see is the love and devotion , and the pride that Joc has for his brother. It is encouraging to see Joc so publicly express his affection for Champ. When so many professional athletes are self-centered and full of themselves it is nice to see Joc with a view of something bigger then himself. And not just Joc, almost to a man this team has embraced Champ and others like him with disabilities and are not as gifted as they are.
    Our Dodger team are CHAMPS in many ways.

    I am hopeful Joc plays alot of baseball in Chavez Ravine this year. I agree with Mark’s comment, that the LF competition will be interesting, and I think we have some pretty good options. We are blessed.
    Than you for this great blog, it is a joy to read and follow some very thoughtful and passionate Dodger fans.

  8. Merry Christmas Everyone!
    I like Joc, but he is frustrating in some ways. I played OF and he does take good routes to the ball, he credits his dad hitting him thousands of flies (former big league player) He has mad power and needs to harness it in certain situations. He has value with his youth, power, contract and potential and is insurance because Verdugo is not quite ready and Toles is coming back from injuries. He can’t hit lefties and Kike can’t hit righties. No one is saying hand him the job MJ, but he should be in the conversation. I am rooting for him and it should be a very interesting competition. The story of Champ is a Holiday Bonus! BTW: How about those Rams?!

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