"That was the last thing on my mind right there, to hit a home run," Pederson said. "I guess it worked out well. I was just trying to choke up and put a good swing on it."
Pederson's performance dropped after a hot start in 2015. He hit .178/.317/.300 in the second half of the season, with his two-strike approach and ability to make contact receiving much of the blame. He subsequently worked on his approach in the winter and in Spring Training, adjusting his mechanics to find a way to better recognize pitches.
Manager Dave Roberts has noticed a change with Pederson since he took over the clubhouse and is hoping to see continued improvement.
"Certain players have a certain DNA, but you're always trying to get better.," Roberts said. "It's a grind, it's tough, and for him to respond the way he did today shows growth mentally as a player. Hopefully, he can continue to get better."
Pederson is now hitting .257/.316/.514 in 38 plate appearances in '16, a greater batting average than any post-April month in '15. While the strikeouts have remained a problem -- he's struck out 36.8 percent of the time -- his line-drive rate has considerably improved.
"Mechanically, I was doing a lot of stuff wrong last year, in the second half and end of the first half, that was causing me to swing at bad pitches," Pederson said. "Slowing it down, I made some mechanical adjustments this offseason that put me in a better hitting position to be able to recognize pitches better."