Cubs: Scout says Joc Pederson is ‘playing on another freaking planet’

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Kyle who?

I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Kyle Schwarber certainly left a lasting impression during his time with the Chicago Cubs. But his replacement, Joc Pederson, is hoping to make his own mark on the North Side this season.

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The former Dodgers outfielder is tearing the cover off the ball this spring – and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. In a recent Baseball America piece (subscription required) that accumulated 25 top performers this spring, Pederson earned some high praise from an anonymous scout.

"“He’s playing on another freaking planet right now. Home runs, doubles, bunting against the shift; he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder and rightfully so … I’d be shocked if he didn’t have a big year.”"

Now, the scout had more to say than that, praising his effort in the outfield and on the base paths, as well as pointing out his quality at-bats against left-handed pitching this spring. Really, Pederson has checked every box imaginable in Cactus League action, doing everything he can to give Cubs fans a lot of hope heading into the regular season. 

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The non-tender of Schwarber drew plenty of fire early in the offseason. But the new front office was looking to shake things up offensively – and once some more funds were freed up, Jed Hoyer brought in Pederson, who was looking for the chance to play every single day. He’s never had that chance in Los Angeles and is hoping he can establish himself as a major piece of this Cubs lineup.

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Now there are going to be some bumps along the way. He’s not suddenly going to regularly face lefties for the first time in his career and rake. But over the course of the season, we could (and hopefully, will) see some major strides from the 28-year-old slugger. If we’re really lucky, he’ll showcase some more stretches like we’ve gotten from his already this spring.