2020 Bust Alert: Is Joc Pederson And His Significant Splits A Regression Risk Moving Forward?

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When we think of Joc Pederson and his splits, the first thought is right-handed pitching (.252 with 36 HR over 401 AB) and left-handed pitching (.224 with 0 HR over 49 AB).  However that’s wasn’t his only notable split in 2019, as he also was far more productive at home than on the road:

  • Home – .270 with 24 HR over 215 AB
  • Road – .230 with 12 HR over 235 AB

It’s not like Dodgers Stadium is a hitter’s haven and the difference in the production comes solely from his power as he had similar underlying metrics (at least until you really start digging deeper):

StatisticHomeRoad
Strikeouts21.5%21.7%
BABIP.246.251
Hard%53.1%38.0%
HR/FB34.3%17.4%

You can argue that he was seeing the ball better at home, though do we truly believe in the HR/FB or Hard%?  Keep in mind that in 2018 he posted marks of 17.3% and 39.4%, respectively, while playing at home.  In 2017 the numbers were 23.5% and 37.6%.  It’s not necessarily a surprise that he exceled while playing at home, but the scope of the discrepancy is stark.

It seems highly unlikely that he comes close to replicating those numbers in 2020, and any regression there is going to have a significant impact on his overall production.  He’s never going to bring an impressive approach at the plate, and while the strikeouts aren’t overwhelming he’s still going to routinely post a 20% strikeout rate or higher.

He also has taken a pull heavy approach, with a 17.9% Oppo%, and he’s never proven capable of maintaining an elevated BABIP (.260 career mark).  That’s obviously a red flag, especially if some of those home runs start to fall short of the fences.  Even just a small regression in his home production could lead to numbers much closer to his ’18 marks (.248 with 25 HR), and
as a platoon player without speed his value is going to diminish greatly.

Could he come close to replicating his success?  Possibly, but we wouldn’t bank on it. 

Source – Fangraphs

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