Cubs will get the best season of Joc Pederson’s career in 2021
By Mia Perlman
There were plenty of storylines to follow over the last month-plus at Cubs camp in Mesa. But the one that stood out above the rest was the success of new acquisition Joc Pederson, who is heading into the regular season firing on all cylinders.
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Chicago non-tendered longtime left fielder Kyle Schwarber back in December, leaving the team in need of a replacement Enter the former Los Angeles Dodger. Less than a month before the beginning of spring training, the Cubs signed Pederson to a one-year $7 million contract with a club option for 2022.
When this signing was first announced, many were skeptical and argued that bringing on Pederson wasn’t an impactful move. He was also compared to Schwarber because the two players have posted very similar numbers throughout their careers.
However, I believe that this signing was underrated at first, and it wasn’t until spring training it finally received the recognition it deserved.
Back before Cactus League games commenced, I argued that Pederson would embrace his role as an everyday player with the club and bring the team success. Though we have yet to begin the regular season, he’s already proved the haters wrong this spring. Not only that, Pederson proved himself to be a lethal power threat.
Cubs watched Joc Pederson rake – and he’s only just getting started
There is no denying Pederson had a rocky 2020 with the Dodgers. Last season, Pederson won a World Series with Los Angeles, but wound up coming to Chicago for the opportunity to play every day, regardless of matchups. Last year, Pederson struggled, slashing .190/.285/.397 across 43 games – so it’s not hard to see why LA moved on.
So far this spring, Pederson slashed .378/.431/1.000. Not only that, but he has hit eight home runs, tying him with his former teammate Corey Seager for the most dingers in the league. Simply put, Pederson has been on fire, and he has the chance to establish himself as a star-caliber everyday player on the North Sider.
Think of it this way, in about a month’s worth of play, Pederson was able to hit eight homers. If he hit eight homers for every month of the regular season, he would approach around 50 homers on the season. While this is a bold take, Pederson has had a monster spring and is hungry to bring his success into the regular season.
As long as Pederson stays healthy and on his game, it would not be impossible for him to top 40 homers this year.. At the very least, he looks as if he will have one of the best, if not the best, seasons of his career.