ATLANTA -- Yasiel Puig fanatics won't want to hear this, but the Minor League outfielder that could get the next call-up is Puig's Double-A Chattanooga teammate, Joc Pederson.
"Let's put it this way: I've seen three series at Triple-A and three series at Double-A, and Pederson is the best Minor League player I've seen this year," said Pat Corrales, special assistant to the general manager.
Corrales has worked for Dodgers president Stan Kasten in Atlanta and Washington, so it's presumed his voice carries significant weight.
"He just does everything better than everybody else," said Corrales. "He makes adjustments at bat and in the field. He's an outstanding center fielder. He has a knack for seeing the ball off the bat: He lowers his head and he's off to get the ball. He's hitting home runs, he's hitting with men on base. There's nothing he isn't doing."
Corrales agreed that Pederson, the son of former Dodger Stu Pederson, is reminiscent of the father of current Dodger Scott Van Slyke.
"He is like Andy Van Slyke," Corrales said of the former All-Star, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner. "Maybe a better runner than Van Slyke. He knows how to run the bases, how to read pitchers to steal a base. He's advanced for a player of his age."
Pederson is 21, drafted in the 11th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Palo Alto High School. He's 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, and bats and throws left-handed. He hit .313 with 18 homers, 96 runs scored, 26 steals and 70 RBIs last year at Class A Rancho Cucamonga. This year, he's hitting .347 with eight homers, 33 runs scored, 12 steals and 20 RBIs at Chattanooga.
Puig is the Dodgers' top-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, while Pederson is ranked third.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less