Pederson hopes 1st ASG is jumping-off point

Dodgers rookie second in Home Run Derby, will start in left at Midsummer Classic

Pederson hopes 1st ASG is jumping-off point

CINCINNATI -- The first three-plus months of the season have essentially been a whirlwind for Dodgers rookie outfielder Joc Pederson.

Pederson, who will be the National League's starting left fielder in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile, has already reached the 20-home run plateau. But he's also struck out more times than anyone in the NL (107) and is hitting .174 since June 6.

"It's been like a roller coaster … a lot of ups and downs," Pederson said. "But I feel like I have learned so much."

This will be the first All-Star Game for Pederson, who will replace Matt Holliday of the Cardinals in the starting lineup because of a right quad injury. Pederson will bat eighth. He also finished second with a dazzling display in Monday night's Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders.

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A year ago this week, Pederson, 23, was preparing to play in the Triple-A All-Star Game. But on Monday, he was one of five Dodgers -- Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal and Zack Greinke are the others -- who spoke with reporters in advance of Tuesday's All-Star Game.

At one point, Pederson glanced around the room, taking in the other players who surrounded him. He smiled.

"There's a lot of young, great players in the game today," Pederson said. "Just look at [Madison] Bumgarner and [Anthony] Rizzo … guys who have been in the league a few years, yet they are still pretty young players. Those guys are unbelievable."

Rookie Pederson is an All-Star

Pederson might not be considered a part of that exclusive group yet, though his manager Don Mattingly and Dodgers teammates are excited to see him continue to reach for his ceiling. Statistics aside, they like the way he's handled the rigors and those ups and downs of his rookie season.

"I think he's handled it great. I have a lot of respect for Joc," Grandal said. "I've seen a lot of top prospects come up and when they get here, it's, 'I'm in the big leagues, I've already made it … let's go party.' But here's a guy with a ton of talent, and he's concerned with how healthy he's eating; his work ethic is great. You can't ask for more.

"Joc is a guy who is trying to figure out how he can get better on a daily basis. You can't ask for more from a young guy."

By no means does Pederson feel like he's arrived. He would like nothing more than Tuesday's appearance in the All-Star Game to be the first of many in his career. He realizes that it won't be easy.

"I'm just going to continue to grow as a player and keep learning," Pederson said. "It's not easy by any means. It's a long season, and I hope to play this game a long time, so I've got to learn to handle the failure better and stay humble with the success."

Pederson's RBI double

During the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile in Cincinnati on Tuesday, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app.

The 86th Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (coverage begins 4 p.m. PT), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.