Torey Lovullo: Diamondbacks’ Joc Pederson has fit into clubhouse

May 25, 2024, 7:09 PM

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo joined Burns & Gambo and praises designated hitter Joc P...

Joc Pederson #3 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts to his three run home run, to take a 7-3 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers, during the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on May 21, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said designated hitter Joc Pederson has exceeded expectations so far in his first season with the club.

Lovullo joined Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Friday and praised Pederson’s fit with the team’s culture. The Diamondbacks signed him with several other free agent designated hitters on the market.

“He’s fit into this clubhouse and culture more than we’d ever hoped,” Lovullo said. “He’s been a student of the game and a great teacher of the game. I can’t say enough good things about Joc.”

The two-time World Series champion has gotten off to a good start to 2024. He entered Saturday hitting .313 with six home runs, 16 runs batted in and a .965 OPS.

Lovullo described how Pederson knew he would fit in well for the D-backs’ lineup prior to signing in January.

“I was sitting on a Zoom call with him last December and he said ‘I match up perfect and I fit in your lineup,'” Lovullo said. “‘I can hit anywhere you want, and the type of four-seam fastball pitchers you’re going to see in the NL West, those are my types of guys.’

“He’s been spot on. … I can’t say enough about his performance and his readiness and eagerness to come here and help us win baseball games.”

Comparing Pederson’s stats to other free agent designated hitters from this offseason, New York Mets and former D-backs slugger J.D. Martinez has hit .277 with three home runs and 11 RBIs after a delayed start to the season. San Francisco Giants’ Jorge Soler has hit .215 with six home runs and 15 RBIs.

The Diamondbacks have received 1.4 rWAR from the designated hitter spot. That ranks third in MLB behind the Dodgers and Braves. Last year, Arizona ranked No. 21 at 0.9 rWAR.

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