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Pederson homers, fixing weaknesses

No. 2 Dodgers prospect goes 3-for-4, raises batting average to .398
May 1, 2014

Joc Pederson's statistics through the first month of the season are impressive enough, but it's what he did on the final day of April that suggests he's only scratching the surface of his talent.

Pederson went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored as his Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes fell to the visiting Salt Lake Bees, 7-6, on Wednesday.

But looking deeper, there are two even more promising things to note from the box score line. The first is that he drew his six-pitch walk after being down in the count, 1-2. The second is that his homer came off left-hander Wade LeBlanc, the first southpaw he's taken deep all year.

If his disciplined approach and ability to solve left-handers continue, there's every chance Los Angeles' No. 2 prospect could reach Dodger Stadium by the summer.

The 22-year-old singled in the first and third innings, homered the other way to left field in the seventh and walked in the ninth. He also grounded out in the fifth.

The outing raised Pederson's average to .398, the second-best mark in the Pacific Coast League to Nashville's Eugenio Velez (.405), and he extended his home run tally to a team-high six.

While the California native is batting .475 with five homers, 12 extra-base hits, 11 RBIs and 16 walks against right-handed pitchers, he's hitting just .270 with two extra-base hits, three RBIs and five walks vs. southpaws.

The struggles against left-handers are nothing new for's No. 33 prospect. He hit .316 with 20 homers against right-handers with Double-A Chattanooga last year, but .200 with two roundtrippers against lefties. In total, he's hitting right-handers 67 points better throughout his career (.327 to .260). Only four of his 56 homers have come off southpaws.

Albuquerque second baseman Alex Guerrero hit a two-run homer, his third of the year, and catcher Griff Erickson mashed his second long ball.

Carlos Frias (0-1) surrendered seven runs -- six earned -- on nine hits and three walks while striking out five batters over five innings in his Triple-A debut.

Salt Lake's Wade LeBlanc (3-1) yielded six runs on nine hits and two walks over seven frames. He recorded five strikeouts and yielded three homers.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB.