Joc Pederson could do one thing really really well, get extra-base hits against right-handed pitchers, and he’ll take that skill with him to Anaheim where for the 2nd straight year he’ll be playing next to an MVP Center-fielder.
All of the charts below came from Fangraphs, and are based on playing the outfield with at least 2,000 Plate Appearances.
With Young Joc gone, we can look at his historical impact on the LAD. Using 2,000 PA as the cutoff he will end up with some interesting numbers. Joc checks in 10th in home runs with 123, the exact same number as Frank Howard. His wRC+ would rank 14th at 120. His slug% would rank 9th at .474. His fWAR, however, puts him 16th. Joc could rack up good metrics because he pounded right-hand pitching and thus was always put in the best possible chance to succeed. Contrast this with Andre who also struggled against left-hand pitchers but still faced them on a regular basis. For example, Andre garnered 1374 PA against LHP while Joc only had 375 plate appearances.
Fun fact. Frank Howard hit 123 home runs as a Dodger and was traded when he was 27. He would go onto hit 246 home runs after being traded.
Sometimes when you do the research for a story you come across something that blows your mind. The defensive metrics for LAD outfielders blew mine. I knew Willie Davis had been an above-average outfielder, I saw it with my own eyes, but the metrics still blew my mind. The LAD have had only four outfielders able to manage a positive defensive ranking but the difference between 1st and 2nd place is astonishing. It also shows that the Dodgers haven’t had a long term quality defensive CF since Willie Davis and he was traded back in 1974.
Check this out:
Hopefully, Cody Bellinger plays CF for the next five or more years and can at least make a run as the 2nd best LAD defensive CF of all time. Not a hard bar to pass.