The Los Angeles Dodgers have a a nice farm system growing in the minor leagues. One of the highly touted prospects that may make his big league debut soon is Joc Pederson. The problem with that is, the Dodgers already have a starting left fielder under contract until 2017. That man is the aging Carl Crawford. I feel very strongly that one of the big things the Dodgers need to do this offseason is continue the youth movement that Yasiel Puig and Paco Rodriguez started this season.
Crawford was coming off of Tommy John surgery this season and he was quite the surprise. He was back and forth between the field and the disabled list, much like another Dodger outfielder, but in just 116 games, Crawford managed a .283 batting average with six home runs and 31 RBI. Those numbers don’t exactly blow anyone away, but for an aging player like Crawford, they were very good.
Pederson, on the other hand, although he’s still only playing in the minors, has shown some pop in the bat as well as speed on the bags the past three years. In 2011, Pederson hit .323 with 11 home runs and 65 RBI. He also managed to steal 26 bags. In 2012, Pederson hit .313 with 18 home runs and batted in 70 RBI. He stole 26 bags that year as well. This past year, he was a selection in the futures game and was a mid-season and postseason All-Star. He batted .278 with 22 home runs and 58 RBI. He swiped 31 bags this past season too. His stolen bases continues going up and so do his home runs.
In the long run, Crawford better keep hitting well in the big leagues even though he’s getting older, because if he trips up just a little bit, Pederson will be in left field before we know it.