The long-awaited arrival of Los Angeles' prized outfield prospect has finally come.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have made the long-awaited decision to bring up top prospect Joc Pederson, reportedly calling him up as part of September's roster expansion, per Ryan Walton of the Valley Bay News. Pederson still must be added to the 40-man roster.
A former 11th round draft pick, Pederson has exceeded all expectations as a prospect. The 22-year-old outfielder has posted excellent numbers across his minor league career, but has been absolutely incredible this season, slashing .303/.435/.582 with 33 home runs, 33 steals, 100 walks, and a 164 wRC+. He recently became the first player in the Pacific Coast League to post a 30-30 seasons since the 1930's, and was also named the league's MVP.
A five-tool talent, Pederson provides a patient approach to go along with a power-speed combo profile. Pederson is oft-considered to be one of the top 20 or so prospects in the game, with Baseball America recently ranking him 18th on their Midseason Update, and Baseball Prospectus slotting him one spot higher at 17.
Pederson's polished profile should allow him to contribute to the Dodgers over the final month of the season as Los Angeles attempts to hold off the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. However, the Dodgers' incredibly deep outfield provides an obstacle to playing time for Pederson, who will be fighting with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, and Scott Van Slyke for at-bats. Pederson does have the ability to play centerfield, which could give him an edge over the defensively challenged likes of Ethier and Kemp.
The Dodgers also called up a number of other players Monday, including Yimi Garcia, Tim Federowicz, Carlos Triunfel, and Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is easily the most interesting of that group, having signed a four-year, $28 million deal last October as a free agent out of Cuba. The 27-year-old has played in just two games at the major league level this season (both in the peculiar March opener against the Diamondbacks in Australia), but has hit .329/.364/.613 with 15 home runs and a 148 wRC+ in 258 plate appearances at Triple-A this season despite missing time due to a bizarre biting incident with Miguel Olivo.