LOS ANGELES — Dodgers slugger Joc Pederson will be one of the eight participants in Monday’s T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Pederson finished second in the 2015 edition.
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“The two highlights of my career were being
LOS ANGELES — Dodgers slugger
“The two highlights of my career were being in the Home run Derby in 2015 and playing in the World Series,” said Pederson. “Who knows when another opportunity will come to participate in that. Seemed like a no-brainer.”
Pederson and Houston’s
He said he faces a dilemma in choosing a pitcher. In 2015, it was Johnny Washington, a Minor League coach who Pederson said “is like family to me.”
But Washington has since joined the San Diego Padres coaching staff, so Pederson said he will probably choose from Dodgers staffers Jose Vizcaino or Dino Ebel, right-handers who have thrown batting practice to Pederson much of this season.
Through Wednesday night, Pederson had 20 home runs, a number he has reached in four of his five Major League seasons, with a career-high .534 slugging percentage. All 20 of his home runs have come against right-handed pitching, 19 while batting in the leadoff spot and 15 at Dodger Stadium. Seventeen were hit by the end of May.
Pederson was edged for the 2015 Derby title by Todd Frazier, 15-14, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Pederson advanced to the finals that year by beating future teammate Manny Machado and Albert Pujols.
Pederson will be the 13th Dodger to participate in a Home Run Derby and will give the Dodgers a participant in each of the last six seasons. He will join Mike Piazza (1993-94) and Matt Kemp (2011-2012) as the only Dodgers to participate in the contest twice.
Pederson was an All-Star in 2015.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.