Joan Carlos Pedroso
Joan Carlos Pedroso Brooks
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Born 6' 4", Weight 216 lb.
Joan Carlos Pedroso was one of Cuba's top sluggers in the first decade of the 21st Century. He has won 3 home run titles (through 2012).
Pedroso played for Cuba in the 1996 World Junior Championship and 1997 World Junior Championship. In the latter event, he batted .391, slugged .913, cracked 4 homers, scored 11 runs and drove in 12. He was named to the tournament All-Star team at first base (beating out Austin Kearns most notably) and Cuba won a Gold Medal.
He hit .308 and slugged .462 in his Cuban Serie Nacional debut in 1997-1998. In 1998-1999, Joan Carlos batted .281 and slugged .383. He led the league with 14 times hit by pitch. During the 1999-2000 campaign, the hefty right-hander hit .275 and slugged .377.
Pedroso hit .335/.458/.531 in 2000-2001. He continued his strong work in 2001-2002 with a batting line of .327/.449/.548 along with 17 home runs. In 2002-2003, Pedroso batted .310/.428/.645 with 28 homers, 67 runs and 77 RBI in 85 games. He broke Lázaro Junco's Serie Nacional record for home runs in a season, establishing himself in Cuba's record books while not yet 24 years old.
Pedroso appeared for Cuba's senior national team for the first time in 2003. He played in the 2003 Pan American Games (3 for 12), the qualifiers for the 2004 Olympics (in which he hit a 2-run homer against Team Canada to help Cuba win the Gold Medal) and the 2003 Baseball World Cup (1 for 2, 2 BB while backing up Kendry Morales at first base).
In 2003-2004, Pedroso batted .345/.501/.600 with 15 home runs and did not appear for Cuba in the 2004 Olympics, when they used Danny Miranda and Antonio Scull at first base. In 2004-2005, Joan Carlos hit .317/.465/.651 with 27 homers and 76 runs in 84 games as he nearly broke his own home run record. The Las Tunas slugger again led the league in homers and was only 4 runs behind leader Yulieski Gourriel. Pedroso followed up by leading the Super Liga with 14 homers in 2005. Pedroso was gosh-awful in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, going 1 for 16 - his one hit was a homer. He only had 2 runs and 2 RBI in 10 games as Cuba's first baseman. They still won Gold thanks in large part to sluggers Gourriel and Michel Enríquez and MVP Eduardo Paret. He struck out in his lone at-bat in the Gold Medal game, when he was benched in favor of Eriel Sánchez.
Pedroso resumed his rampage of Cuban pitching in 2005-2006, hitting .353/.455/.680 with 22 homers, 68 runs and 72 RBI in 72 games. He was five homers behind league leader Gourriel and was 8th in the circuit in average. Pedroso's international woes continued, though, in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, when he was 1 for 9 as a backup to Ariel Borrero. So far, he had only gone 6 for 39 in Baseball World Cups, Pan American Games and the World Baseball Classic, a far cry from his domestic league play. Alexander Mayeta would replace him as the Cuban national team 1B for major events in 2007-2008.
The big first baseman batted .293/.436/.531 with 18 homers in an off-year in 2006-2007. He was still second in Cuba in circuit clouts, right behind Alexei Ramírez. In 2007-2008, Pedroso hit .342/.513/.634 with 22 HR and 71 runs in 87 games. He was second to Frederich Cepeda with 77 walks and tied Yoelvis Fiss and Yulieski Gourriel for 5th in homers. He tied Yosvany Peraza for 9th in total bases (180) and was 7th in slugging. Unfortunately, he lost his home run record when Alexei Bell cracked 31.
Through 2007-2008, Pedroso had a career average of .312 and slugging percentage of .549.
Pedroso had a strong start in 2008-2009. On February 4, he became the first Cuban hitter to reach 200 homers in the wood-bat era. He had 38 home runs more than the next player on the wood-bat era leaderboard, Frederich Cepeda. Pedroso was a late addition to Cuba's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Pedroso went 0 for 1 with a strikeout, walk and a run in five games in the Classic, backing up Leslie Anderson and Alexander Mayeta at first base. Pedroso finished the 2008-2009 season with a .347/.515/.691 batting line. He drew 80 walks and hit 28 homers in 83 games. He ranked among the league leaders in home runs (2nd to Alfredo Despaigne), RBI (10th, 75), walks (4th) and slugging (third behind Despaigne and Yulieski Gourriel). He lost out honors as the All-Star first baseman to Yorelvis Charles.
Pedroso hit .322/.512/.641 with 23 homers, 81 walks, 75 runs and 74 RBI in 87 games in 2009-2010 to place among the leaders in home runs (7th), hit-by-pitch (28, 2nd, 2 behind José Dariel Abreu), walks (2nd, 3 behind Irakli Chirino), strikeouts (63, 2nd, 20 behind Dary Bartolome) and slugging (6th, between Cepeda and Yosvani Alarcón).
In 2010-2011, the big slugger put up a .312/.452/.692 line with 29 dingers in 74 games. He was 4th in home runs (between Reutilio Hurtado and Cepeda), 5th in RBI (83, between Edilse Silva and Cepeda), first in strikeouts (67), 6th in times plunked (22) and 4th in slugging (between Despaigne and Yoenis Céspedes). He batted .291/.438/.570 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI in 76 games in 2011-2012, placing 6th in home runs (between William Luis and Bell), tying for second in sacrifice flies (8), tied for 6th in times hit by pitch (16), was 7th in strikeouts (60) and was 7th in slugging (between Alexander Guerrero and Yordanis Samón.