Just what are the Dodgers going to do with Joc Pederson?
He’s only their top-rated prospect, according to Baseball America, and Tuesday he was named the Pacific Coast League’s rookie of the year.
On Monday, he was named to the all-PCL team and Saturday he became the league’s first player in 80 years to steal 30 bases and hit 30 home runs in the same season.
What to do?
The problem is that Pederson, 22, is a left-handed-hitting outfielder. The Dodgers already are using five quality outfielders and currently have one left-handed hitter, Andre Ethier, being used primarily as a backup.
And four of the five — Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig and Ethier — have rich contracts that take them at least through the 2017 season.
The contracts make Kemp, Crawford and Ethier difficult to trade, but if Pederson has a future with the Dodgers next season, something dramatic will have to happen.
Pederson only leads the PCL in home runs (32), on-base percentage (.432), runs (99), total bases (247) and walks (95). His .580 slugging percentage is third in the league. His 95 walks are a single-season record for the Albuquerque Isotopes, while his 99 runs scored are just one shy of the team mark.
Albuquerque has six regular-season games remaining.
The Isotopes said Pederson is their first rookie of the year and the first Dodger to ever receive the award at the triple-A level.