Pederson homers twice for Lookouts
On Thursday, Joc Pederson became the latest Dodgers prospect to benefit from some of the magic Eric Owens is apparently doling out in batting practice these days.
Owens, Los Angeles' roving Minor League hitting coordinator and a former outfielder in the big leagues for nine years, will occasionally toss batting practice when he's visiting a Dodgers affiliate.
When he did it for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on June 14, Jon Garcia went on to launch two home runs. A week later after an Owens session, Class A Great Lakes' Corey Seager hit two homers.
And after Owens delivered BP to Double-A Chattanooga on Thursday, Pederson went yard twice as well.
"After the game he came in laughing, 'cause he threw to Jonny's group and he hit two home runs, and then he threw to Corey Seager's group and he hit two home runs," said Pederson. "And the thing is that's one of the first times I've ever hit off him. He came in after the game and it was funny seeing him, he said, 'I bet you wish you had me throwing to you tomorrow.'"
The third-ranked Dodgers prospect finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a walk as the Lookouts cruised past the Montgomery Biscuits, 8-3.
It was Pederson's second two-homer game this year.
"I was just trying to get a good pitch, wasn't really thinking about home runs, but it's nice," he said. "Everyone was swinging the bat well, so we had a good chemistry going tonight. It was good to see."
The 21-year-old has probably done more to improve his stock than any other Los Angeles prospect this season this side of Yasiel Puig. In 77 games for Chattanooga, he now has a .302/.391/.523 line with 13 homers and 37 RBIs as well as 22 steals in 25 tries.
He has the only OPS over .900 in the Southern League and leads Birmingham's Andy Wilkins, sitting in second at .863, by over 50 points.
He's also earned a spot on Team USA in the All-Star Futures Game on July 16 at Citi Field. The Palo Alto, Calif. native was just 15 when he attended his first Futures Game as a fan in San Francisco, where incidentally, the Dodgers' Chin-Lung Hu won the game's MVP award.
He said he's eager to leave his own impression at the game.
"It's a big honor. I'm blessed to represent the Dodgers and the U.S. in a pretty big event. I'm really excited, I can't wait," he said. "I went in San Francisco when I was in high school, so I have an idea [of what it's like]. I think Joey Votto was there, a couple big guys, and I always watch it on TV. Sometimes your buddies are playing or just guys you know, so it's crazy to think I'm going to be in it, but I'm definitely looking forward to it."
On Thursday, the Lookouts also received long balls from designated hitter J.T. Wise and first baseman Angelo Songco.
Duke von Schamann (1-0) earned his first victory at Double-A in his fourth start for Chattanooga, scattering three runs on eight hits over five innings. He struck out five and didn't issue any walks.
Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to MLB.com.