Joc Russell Pederson was born on April 21, 1992, in Palo Alto, California, and is the son of Shelly (Cahn) and Stu Pederson. Pederson attended Palo Alto High School, graduating in 2010. In his senior year, Pederson batted .466 with a .577 on-base percentage and an .852 slugging percentage, with 20 stolen bases in 22 attempts, playing center field and leading off for the school's baseball team. He also played for the school's football team, leading it with 30 receptions in his senior year for 650 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Pederson was selected out of Palo Alto High School by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. He had committed to play at the University of Southern California but chose instead to sign with the Dodgers and was assigned to the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League.
In 2011, he hit .353 while leading the Pioneer League in RBIs and outfield assists and was both a Pioneer League and Rookie League All Star. In 2012, he was named the Dodgers’ “Minor League Player of the Year.”
In 2013, Pederson was both a mid-season and post-season Southern League All-Star, and led the league in slugging percentage. He was ranked the Dodgers' # 1 prospect by Baseball America after the 2013 season. In 2014 he became the first player in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in 80 years, and the fourth all-time, to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season. That year Pederson led the PCL in runs, home runs, walks, on-base percentage, and OPS, while stealing 30 bases. He was named the PCL Most Valuable Player, to both the mid-season and post-season PCL All-Star teams, and was selected as Baseball America's AAA Player of the Year.
Pederson played for the Israel national baseball team in the qualifying rounds of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, the youngest player on the team.
In 2015, he was named the 8th-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America. He was called up to the Majors in 2014 and began the 2015 season as the Dodgers' starting center fielder, and the third-youngest player in the National League. Pederson was chosen to start in left field in the 2015 All-Star Game. That year he made it to the final round of the Home Run Derby.
In 2017, he set a Dodgers record with an extra-base hit and a run scored in each of his first six World Series games. Pederson also broke the record for most home runs in a World Series by a Jewish player with three, one more than Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg. Alex Bregman of the Astros tied the mark in 2019.
Pederson signed a one-year, $2.6 million contract with the Dodgers for 2018, avoiding salary arbitration. In 2019, Pederson agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract with the Dodgers.
On May 14, 2019, Pederson hit his 100th career home run against. Pederson participated in the Home Run Derby at the 2019 MLB All-Star Game and lost in the semi-finals to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He had career bests with 36 home runs, 74 runs batted in and a .249 batting average. Pederson became expendable after the season when the Dodgers acquired one-time MVP Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox and he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels.
Prior to the start of the 2020 season, Pederson lost his arbitration hearing and will be paid $7.8 million.
Pederson married Kelsey Williams in January 2018. They have one daughter. Pederson lives in Studio City, California.