The Los Angeles Dodgers are supposed to play the Colorado Rockies on ESPN's Wednesday night baseball, but as I write this the start of the game is in a rain delay. So let's spend a few minutes looking at Joc Pederson, the rookie center fielder hitting .260/.383/.588 with 16 home runs. He's homered in four straight games, including two mammoth shots in both ends of Tuesday's doubleheader.
Not only is he fourth in the majors in home runs, he's been hitting them a long ways away from Coors Field as well, with the longest average home run distance on the season via the ESPN Home Run Tracker (minimum seven home runs).
Here are two graphics on the pitch locations of those 16 home runs and where they traveled:
The thing that obviously jumps out is he's hitting them all to center field, or a bit in either direction. Only one home run was pulled. This is a pretty unique way to mash home runs since most home runs are pulled. Now, the top guys go to all fields, which is why they hit a lot of home runs:
Nelson Cruz: 13 to LF/LC; 3 to CF; 2 to RF/RC.
Bryce Harper: 6 to RF/RC; 5 to CF; 7 to LF/LC.
Giancarlo Stanton: 9 LF/LC; 4 to CF; 4 to RF/RC.
Still, Pederson's ability to drive the ball to center is impressive. The one area it appears pitchers aren't testing him much is on the inner part of the plate. Pederson is hitting .222/.364/.378 on pitchers in the inner third of the zone versus .256/409/.512 on the outer third. Conventional wisdom says lefties love pitches down and in, but maybe you'll see pitchers trying to bust him a little more often inside.
Here are the pitches he's hit for his home runs, listed from recent backwards:
As you can see, Pederson is mashing fastballs -- .293/.407/.640. A lot of guys mash fastballs, but he ranks eighth in the majors in isolated power against fastballs. But he ranks third in isolated power against offspeed pitchers, hitting .256/.366/.561.
In other words, there's no obvious book yet on Pederson. That's the fun of the long season and watching a red-hot young player: Let's see how the pitchers adjust and then see how Pederson adjusts.