Joc Pederson’s first season with Triple-A Albuquerque concludes Monday, which is the same day active Major League rosters expand to 40, which Pederson is expected to benefit from.
The Isotopes outfielder was named the Pacific Coast League MVP Thursday, which comes as little surprise given the historic season Pederson put together. He became the first PCL player in 80 years to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same year and called the feat an honor, via Christopher Jackson of Examiner.com:
I realized how many years 80 really is, how it’s the only one in the modern era, it’s crazy,” Pederson said. “I guess it’s a huge accomplishment and I’m humbled to be able to do something like that during the year.”
Pederson was stuck on 28 stolen bases, then had a five-game drought before stealing a base in consecutive games, beginning Aug. 22. He spoke of the pressure and change in opponent’s strategy as he drew closer to accomplishing the milestone:
It was definitely a big relief,” Pederson said. “There was a lot of built-up pressure on that. They definitely made it harder than it had to be for the last couple games. They were picking over quite a bit in situations that didn’t account for it. But I’m glad I got it and it’s worth it.”
As for his MVP award, Pederson, who was also named to the All-PCL team, called it a humbling experience:
It’s a pretty humbling award that I got to win,” Pederson said of being PCL MVP. “I mean it’s exciting, I’ve never won a player of the year award. It’s my first, I feel good about it. It’s kind of a relief for all the hard work I’ve put in. It’s a nice cap at the end of the season.”
Pederson has been touted as the next big thing for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfield that’s been overcrowded for much of the last two seasons. There were calls for Pederson’s promotion from Double-A last September, but the Dodgers
While Pederson is now expected to receive his first experience at the Major League level, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated the outfielder won’t necessarily be thrown into the fire.
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