Joc Pederson becomes first 30-30 player in PCL 80 years

We all knew Joc Pederson is really good, but I don’t even think I thought he was this good. Pederson became the first Pacific Coast League player to hit 30 or more home runs and steal 30 or more bases in a season since 1934.

Here’s home run No. 30.

Frank Demaree, 24 years old in 1934, hit 45 home runs and stole 41 bases for the, believe it or not, Los Angeles Angels — a Cubs’ affiliate. Of course, Demaree played in 186(!) games in that season. So, Pederson’s accomplishment — despite the rarefied air — holds a little more significant.

It took Pederson a few games after hitting his 30th home run (he’s up to 32 now), but he finally swiped his 30th base on Saturday night. His 69.8 percent success rate on stolen bases isn’t indicative of his overall ability to steal. Teams (in recent days) knew he was going to attempt to steal any chance he got. He was thrown out three of the four times prior to getting No. 30. He may not be the nearly 80 percent stolen base guy in the majors he was last year, but he’s better than 70 percent. He has stolen 30 or more bases in the last two seasons, but that will probably go down to the 15-20 range in the show.

The last Dodger prospect to go 30-30 was Chin-Feng Chen in 1999. As a 21-year-old for San Bernadino, he hit 31 home runs and stole 31 bases. It was his first year after the Dodgers signed him out of Taiwan. He looked like a budding star, but fizzled out and only got 25 plate appearances with the Dodgers (over four different seasons).

Pederson is the first Dodger prospect to hit 30 or more home runs in a season since Jerry Sands hit 35 in 2010 (18 with Low-A Great Lakes and 17 with Double-A Chattanooga). Man, Jerry Sands. I know the Dodgers tinkered with his swing in the majors and Triple-A, but it’s hard to believe he didn’t make it as at least a Jonny Gomes-type. He definitely had the raw power to succeed, but he hasn’t been able to get on track since the Nick Punto trade. Whoa, I’ve gotten way off track.

The Dodgers definitely hit a home ru … no, I won’t do that. The Dodgers got a st … STOP IT, DUSTIN. The Dodgers struck gold when taking Pederson in the 11th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. The $600,000 bonus they gave him to give up his USC commitment was well worth it. Pederson is clearly MLB-ready. It’s just a matter of time (literally). He should be in uniform Sept. 1, if General Manager Ned Colletti is to be trusted (and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be). If only the Dodgers didn’t have the dead weight known as Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier.

I’m excited to see what Pederson can do with his cup of coffee. He probably won’t earn a spot on the postseason roster, but, much like he did in spring training, he could open some eyes at the highest level of competition. If he isn’t traded in the offseason, he should be the Dodgers’ starting left- or center fielder in 2015, because he has nothing left to prove in Triple-A.

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.