The best laid plans of mice and men, right Vin? We had this projection piece ready to go when Joc Pederson went from mostly beloved Dodger to soon-to-be-very-much-appreciated Angel. So I slapped an "Ex" in front of "Dodgers" and made an adjustment or two for for your consideration.
Back in January of 2019, a couple of weeks before the Dodgers set out for Spring Training, I took my dog to the Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park and landed a picture with Joc Pederson, who was there in his role as spokesman for Dodgers Community Week. I wished Joc a good 2019 season. That same day, Los Angeles signed A.J. Pollock to a five-year $60 million free agent deal, so there was a fair-to-middling chance Pederson might spend the upcoming season with another club.
You know the rest: Joc went on to hit .249/.339/.538, with 36 home runs and 74 RBIs primarily from the leadoff spot. Given his 2019 “production” against left-handers (.224/.240/.265 with 11 hits, 0 HR, 2 RBI in 49 at bats), Young Joc cemented a reputation -- at least in the minds of those filling out the lineup card -- of being a player who should rarely face a southpaw. But lest we forget the .249/.349/.571, 36 and 73 versus right-hand pitching and the fact that there are twice as many righty pitchers than left.
It's a moot point thanks to the Mookie Betts and David Price arrivals and a correspondingly odd decision by the front office to shed dingers ...er, salaries. Joc is now an Angel. He's worthy of our attention all the same.
It's too early to see a change in the forecasts based on a player playing in a different division and league, etc., so we'll go with the numbers as is.
Baseball Reference projects Pederson's 2020 season this way:
501 PA, 440 AB, 75 R, 29 HR, 67 RBI, .245/.332/.505.
A bit more optimistic, Steamer projects the following:
502 PA, 32 HR, 77 R, 75 RBI, .256/.344/.538. In other words, they’re projecting a plateau. In the NL West anyway.
Comment: Cody Bellinger went into camp last spring with a chip on his shoulder. He wanted to put up a more competitive at bat vs. lefties. And that turned out pretty well.
Independent of his team's colors, Pederson will be playing for a free agent contract in 2020, so there's plenty of incentive to improve wherever possible.. But the struggles with LHP is pretty much baked in. He'll benefit from hitting in a nine-man American League lineup, and from playing in the AL generally, however. So here's my forecast .260/.345/.525, with 40 and 85.