In about a week and a half, outfielder Joc Pederson will likely find himself in Los Angeles, called up when roster limits expand in September. But before then Pederson is closing in on a milestone, trying to become the first Pacific Coast League player with 30 home runs and 30 steals in a season since 1934.
Pederson is already in select company in Dodgers franchise history. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, the organization has had 24 seasons of 20 home runs and 20 steals in the minor leagues, a little less often than once every two years.
Pederson is only the second LA Dodgers minor leaguer to do it twice, having hit 22 home runs with 31 steals in 2013 in Double-A Chattanooga. The other was Mike Marshall, who had 24 home runs and 22 steals for Class-A Lodi at age 19 in the Cal League in 1979, then two years later with the Albuquerque Dukes went 34-21 in one of the greatest Dodgers minor league seasons of all-time, hitting .373/.445/.675 with 137 RBI in 128 games.
As exciting as it will be to see Pederson in the majors, whenever that call comes, the last three Dodgers Triple-A 20-20 players - Antonio Perez, Franklin Stubbs and Marshall - are a who's who of tempered expectations.
But that doesn't take away from Pederson's magnificent season in 2014, just the seventh 25-25 year by an LA Dodgers minor leaguer.
But with two more steals, Pederson would join Chin-Feng Chen as the only 30-30 minor leaguers for the Dodgers in the last 57 years. Chen tore up the Cal League with Class-A San Bernardino in 1999 at age 21, his first year in U.S. professional baseball, hitting .316/.404/.580 with 31 homers, 31 steals, 123 RBI and 75 walks in 131 games. Chen's major league career consisted of three hits in 22 at-bats plus three walks in 19 games spread over four seasons.
Here is the rest of the list of 20-20 players, with a few notes.
Mike Devereaux did most of his damage in 1987 with the Missions in Double-A, hitting 26 home runs and stole 33 bases in 135 games. He made a brief stop in Triple-A Albuquerque, with one home run and one steal in three games, before stealing three bases in his major league debut with the Dodgers in 1987.
Adrian Beltre dazzled at age 18 (thought to be 19 years old at the time) with Class-A Vero Beach in 1997, with 26 home runs and 25 steals in 123 games.
Franklin Gutierrez had 20 home runs and 17 steals in 110 games with Class-A Vero Beach in 2003, then did the rest of the work in 18 games with Double-A Jacksonville.
Larry Hisle played two full seasons with the Phillies in 1969-1970, then was up and down at age 24 in 1971. The Dodgers traded current Marlins broadcaster Tommy Hutton for the outfielder before the 1972 season, but Hisle never saw time in the majors with the Dodgers in his age-25 season, with good reason. The Dodgers primary outfielders that season were Frank Robinson, Willie Davis, Manny Mota, Bill Buckner and Willie Crawford. Those five started 445 of 465 games in the outfield and hit a combined .290/.345/.429, a 121 OPS+, with 56 home runs and 40 steals.
After the season the Dodgers traded Hisle to Minnesota for two minor league pitchers - Greg Millikan and Rudy Arroyo - who never again pitched in the majors. All Hisle did was hit .287/.358/.470, a 132 OPS+, for the next six seasons for the Twins and Brewers.
|LA Dodgers minor league 20-20 seasons|
|Joc Pederson||Albuquerque (AAA)||2014||22||113||31||28|
|Joc Pederson||Chattanooga (AA)||2013||21||123||22||31|
|Kyle Russell||Great Lakes (A)||2009||23||133||26||20|
|Matt Kemp||Vero Beach (A+)||2005||20||109||27||23|
|Antonio Perez||Las Vegas (AAA)*||2004||24||138||22||23|
|Franklin Gutierrez||Vero Beach (A+)*||2003||20||128||24||20|
|Chin-Feng Chen||San Bernardino (A+)||1999||21||131||31||31|
|Adrian Beltre||Vero Beach (A+)||1997||18||123||26||25|
|Eddie Davis||San Bernardino (A+)||1996||23||136||29||31|
|Adam Riggs||San Bernardino (A+)||1995||22||134||24||31|
|Mike Devereaux||San Antonio (AA)*||1987||24||157||27||37|
|Franklin Stubbs||Albuquerque (AAA)||1985||24||125||32||23|
|Mike Marshall||Albuquerque (AAA)||1981||21||128||34||21|
|Mark Bradley||San Antonio (AA)||1981||24||129||20||18|
|Ed Santos||Lodi (A)||1981||26||129||23||40|
|Pedro Guerrero||Albuquerque (AAA)*||1979||23||138||24||28|
|Mike Marshall||Lodi (A)||1979||19||137||24||22|
|Claude Westmoreland||Bakersfield (A)||1975||22||136||20||40|
|Larry Hisle||Albuquerque (A)||1972||25||131||23||20|
|Billy Grabarkewitz||Albuquerque (AA)*||1967||21||172||27||48|
|Willie Crawford||Albuquerque (AA)*||1967||20||163||25||21|
|Jim Lefebvre||Reno (C)||1962||20||138||39||23|
|Dennis Marquardt||Reno (C)||1962||19||139||28||24|
|Dick Nen||Reno (C)||1961||19||139||32||25|
|since 1958; *played at multiple levels|