There might be no greater illustration of the devaluation of batting average than this:
He is batting .230.
This is not an all-time low, not even close. Pederson has the lowest batting average of an All-Star starter since all the way back in … 2012, when
Elias also reports that 20 players have started an All-Star game with a batting average of .230 or lower. The lowest: Dodgers coach Davey Lopes, who started in 1981 despite a .169 average.
Pederson has the lowest batting average of any NL player with at least 350 plate appearances, and the most strikeouts. He has 107 strikeouts at the break; Dodgers Manager
"The game has changed," Mattingly said. "There are so many guys that strike out 150 times. If you struck out 100 times when I came up, you'd be looked upon as a guy that struck out way too much."
Pederson also has 20 home runs, on pace for 36. Mattingly, the 1985 AL most valuable player and a six-time All-Star, never hit as many as 36.
In Mattingly's day, a rookie center fielder with such a low average and so many strikeouts might well be headed to the minor leagues, not to the All-Star game.
"Those guys could never really hit," Mattingly said. "You had a speed guy that was more of a leadoff guy, that could go get it in the outfield. He maybe stole some bases, but he wasn't that great of a hitter. So you looked at defense, right?
"From Joc's standpoint, he's a great defensive center fielder. He's giving us power. He walks a lot, which is high on-base, so that is almost like getting a hit. And then the average, you see, is different. So it's just a different style."
Pederson ranks among the NL top 10 in walks and home runs, among the top 20 in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The "wins above replacement" statistic, which did not exist in Mattingly's day, ranks Pederson as the Dodgers' most productive offensive player.