"I like his swing, it's smooth and it stays in the strike zone," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told MLB.com "He's got great baseball instincts. I like his makeup, the whole thing. He gets good jumps in the outfield. Our guys think he probably tracks the ball better than anybody we've got." Pederson has played in the Arizona Fall League and the World Baseball Classic qualifier and is considered the Dodgers' No. 3 prospect.
GOLF FINALIST . . . Jumping out to a quick lead evidently has made all the difference for Palo Alto High junior golfer Michelle Xie, who won three matches in two days using that method and landed herself in the finals of the 64th Junior Girls' State Championships. Xie's latest effort came Thursday morning in a 2-and-1 semifinal victory over No. 30 seed Yoonhee Kim of San Ramon on the Dunes Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club in Pebble Beach. Xie won the opening hole, a 375-yard par-4 with a birdie and took the third and fourth holes to go 3-up. Xie erased a triple-bogey 7 on the fifth hole with a birdie-4 on the 426-yard par-5 seventh. She took a 1-up lead into the back nine. Kim squared the match through the 12th before back-to-back pars by Xie on the 13th and 14th holes gave her a 2-up lead. After losing the 16th with a bogey, Xie got a birdie-3 on the 319-yard par-4 17th to win the match. That earned Xie a berth in the finals on Thursday afternoon against defending champ and No. 1 seed Kathleen Scavo of Benicia. On Wednesday, the No. 18-seeded Xie won her Round of 16 match, 2 and 1, over No. 2 seed Mabel Wong of Oakdale before eliminating No. 26 Jade Siphomsay of Rancho Cucamonga, 4 and 3, in the quarterfinals.
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