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Pederson helps Lee to first Triple-A win
Dodgers' No. 2 prospect gets three hits in support of No. 4 prospect
04/07/2014 12:06 AM ET
Joc Pederson ranked among the Southern League leaders in nine offensive categories last season. (Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

Joc Pederson stood on first base in the fifth inning on Sunday afternoon. His busy offseason was paying dividends as he singled for the third time in Triple-A Albuquerque's 9-3 win at Tacoma.

His fall began with multiple postseason All-Star nods and continued with a trip to Venezuela for Winter Ball, where he compiled a .439 on-base percentage.

"It was an awesome experience. I learned a lot and made some friends," Pederson said. "It was sweet."

After spending some time with his family, the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect was invited to big league Spring Training to improve his eye at the plate and work on his maturity.

"I was fortunate to go into a locker room with so many superstars and see how they go about business, ask them how they deal with certain aspects of the game," said Pederson, MLB.com's No. 36 overall prospect. "They have struggles, too, they're not perfect. A lot of Minor Leaguers put Major Leaguers on pedestals, but they're human, too."

Pederson, who turns 22 on April 21, said he learned the most from Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez. And he accompanied the Dodgers to Australia for the Opening Series against the Diamondbacks.

Along with his mother, Pederson made his first trip Down Under and got a taste of what a regular-season Major League game is like. While he didn't make it onto the field, he now knows what it's like to sit in a big league dugout when the game counts.

"It's a whole different atmosphere during a real game [compared to] spring games," he said. "It was good to get the comfort level of a real game; I was fortunate to have that under my belt."

With Albuquerque, Pederson went hitless in his first five at-bats, which weighed on his mind. But he slugged his first Pacific Coast League homer on Saturday and followed it up with three singles and a run scored.

"Just keep trying to put a good swing on the pitches," he said. "Hopefully, I'm able to stay healthy, try to help the team and control what I can control and not worry about what I can't control."

Zach Lee (1-0) -- Los Angeles' fourth-ranked prospect -- got the win in his PCL debut, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out three over five innings.

"It was a great start by Zach. He came out and really dominated, had good command of all his pitches. It was exciting," Pederson said. "I'm happy he did well. He had a lot of quick innings [and] I like it."

Rainiers starter Anthony Fernandez (0-1) took the loss after giving up four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 frames.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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