Baseball America ranked Joc Pederson the #9 Dodgers prospect for 2012. The 19-year old left-handed batter and thrower was born in Palo Alto, California. He played center field for Palo Alto High School. He was drafted by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft, and received a $600,000 signing bonus. Pederson received a scholarship offer from USC, and had signed a letter of intent to play baseball for USC. His father, Stu, played for USC and also appeared in 8 games for the Dodgers in 1985 but was hitless in only 4 at bats.
Joc described his desire to play for USC before he made his decision to sign with the Dodgers:
“[USC] has been my favorite college since I was younger and they offered me a good scholarship,” Pederson said. “I felt the most comfortable with the coaches. It was my dream school.”
Joc had wanted to play under coach Chad Krueter, and told pro baseball clubs he would only forgo a college baseball career for a $1 million sum. After Kreuter was fired, Pederson was more inclined to start his professional baseball career for less of a signing bonus. So Joc began his journey from Rookie ball to hopeful Big Leaguer in 2010.
In 2010 he played briefly for the Arizona Rookie class Dodgers. He only played in 3 games. In 2011 he played mostly with the Ogden Raptors after starting and struggling with the Single A Great Lakes Loons for a couple of weeks. For Ogden, he played in 68 games and hit a team leading .353 (4th in the Pioneer League) with 11 homeruns and 64 RBI. He struck out 54 times and walked 36 times in 266 at bats.
The 6’1″ and 185 lbs outfielder is called “Young Joc” by fans. Will Joc follow in his father’s footsteps and play for the Dodgers one day? We will be keeping tabs on Joc and all the other Dodgers prospects throughout the season.
For more analysis and an indepth look at Pederson’s season, check out Kenny’s article on Ogden’s two best hitters in 2011: O’Koyea Dickson vs. Joc Pederson – Who is the Dodgers Rookie League 2011 MVP?
You can follow Joc Pederson on Twitter @youngjoc650