Atlanta Braves should bring Joc Pederson back

Nov 5, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Joc Pederson speaks during the World Series championship rally at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Joc Pederson speaks during the World Series championship rally at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Atlanta Braves found themselves in a difficult spot during the 2021 season. Due to a lack of production and a rash of injuries, they needed to remake their outfield on the fly at the trade deadline. Not only were they able to do so, but those players were key pieces in the Braves’ improbable championship run.

As important as those players were, none of them made the impact that Joc Pederson did. He quickly emerged as one of the leaders of the team, the face of that incredible run. His decision to wear pearl necklaces during the postseason made them become a fashion statement once again as he swiftly became a fan favorite.

Atlanta Braves need Joc Pederson to return

The Braves are in a better spot heading into the 2022 season. Ronald Acuna Jr. will be back in the lineup now that he is healthy. Marcell Ozuna‘s suspension was made retroactive to the 2021 campaign. Adam Duvall was offered arbitration, ensuring that he will be a part of the 2022 roster.

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But the Braves could use another outfielder even with that trio. Ozuna is best suited for the designated hitter spot, a position he occupied in 2020. Cristian Pache may have a great deal of potential, but he has yet to show that he can be more than a fourth outfielder at the major league level.

Pederson had a solid, albeit unspectacular, 2021 season. He posted a .238/.310/.422 batting line in his 481 plate appearances between the Cubs and Braves, hitting 18 homers and 19 doubles. He played all three outfield spots last season as well, his versatility helping to make him a solid asset.

It also helps that he should be relatively inexpensive. As Freddie Freeman remains unsigned and will take up the majority of the Braves free agency budget, they will need to find potential bargains to fill out the roster. Pederson, despite his slightly below average production, could be exactly that.

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The Atlanta Braves could use another outfielder once the lockout ends. It would make sense to bring Joc Pederson back to Atlanta.