Although he has had some solid seasons, he has always been a bit of an enigma.
On a year-to-year basis, you never really know what you’re going to get from the one-time All-Star.
That makes him a tough player to evaluate, which is something that clubs will have to do in the upcoming offseason when he becomes a free agent.
His performance this season likely isn’t going to do him any favors in that regard.
He’s slashing just .232/.304/.405 over 127 games, and he has a -0.3 WAR.
But today, we’re going to look back on some of his better years.
It’s easy to forget how good this guy can be.
Pederson Has Four 25+ Home Run Seasons To His Credit
Pederson’s best skill as a hitter is his ability to hit for power.
When he’s seeing the ball well, he’s more than capable of inserting some pop into a lineup.
From 2015 to 2019 (a span of five seasons), he had four campaigns with 25+ home runs.
He blasted 26 long balls in 2015, 25 in 2016, 25 in 2018, and a whopping 36 in 2019.
His lone down year in that span was his 2017 campaign.
But even with his down 2017 season included, he averaged 25 home runs per 162 games over the five-year span.
Over the same span, he posted a solid .818 OPS and 119 OPS+.
Pederson would love to post some similar numbers in the near future.
The big question is whether or not he can get there.
It’s Easy To Forget How Recently Pederson Was Productive
It wasn’t too long ago that Pederson was a productive MLB player.
We mentioned that he blasted 36 home runs in 2019, which was arguably the best season of his career.
To state the obvious, that was just two years ago.
That season, he posted an OPS of .876, OPS+ of 126, and wRC+ of 127.
In addition to his 36 home runs, he doubled 16 times and tripled three times.
Needless to say, that was a really good year for him.
Additionally, Pederson was a massive part of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ run to the 2020 World Series title.
Although he had a horrible regular season (he finished with a -0.3 WAR), he looked like his best self in the playoffs.
He slashed .382/.432/.559 over 16 postseason games.
Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers (Playoffs)(1) 3-run. pic.twitter.com/DPKutnjVVr
— MLB HR Tracker (@hr_mlb) October 14, 2020
There’s no telling how the Dodgers’ playoff run would have unfolded without Pederson’s contributions.
The big takeaway: The 29-year-old isn’t washed.
It has been a rough go for him this season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of gas.
Will He Return To Form In The Near Future?
It’ll be really interesting to see where Pederson lands in 2022.
There will probably be a market for him in free agency, but it likely won’t be wildly competitive.
That said, he might have a chance to increase his stock in the upcoming playoffs.
If the season were to end today, his Atlanta Braves would win the NL East.
Pederson, in that case, would find himself in a comparable situation to that of last year—entering the playoffs after an underwhelming regular season.
We just talked about what happened in the 2020 playoffs—he impressed.
Could that be in the cards this time around?
We’ll have to wait and see.
Joc Pederson's last 30 games…..150 BA and .500 OPS. Hope he's just getting ready for playoffs…
— Joseph Williams (@Josephw0000) September 15, 2021
Maybe another strong postseason showing could be the spark he needs to get his career back on track.