He's a Gold Glove second baseman, a contact hitter, a guy who can hit put up decent power numbers, a threat on the base paths, and a lightning rod and leader in the clubhouse.
Pedroia's career average of .305 ranks him fifteenth among active players — ahead of Alex Rodriguez and in a dead heat with Chipper Jones.
He strikes out in only eight percent of at-bats for his career, a rate less than half of the league average that has put him in the top three in the AL in each full season that he has played. He swings and misses about three percent of the time, also less than half of the league average, and he takes more pitches than the average player. Best of all, he consistently hits the ball sharply, as one in his five balls in play is a line drive. Basically, he does everything that you'd want a hitter to do.
For a small guy and a second baseman, Pedroia also has a lot of power. Before his injury, he was on pace for over 25 home runs this season and has a slugging percentage of .502. He also has finished first and third in doubles in the AL in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Pedroia has even become a threat on the base paths, as he has stolen 20 bases each of the past two seasons.
It may be surprising that Pedroia's contribution in wins above replacement comes about one-third through his defense — a very significant portion. He has ranked in the top five in fielding percentage among second basemen each year of his career, and his "total zone runs" score, another metric of defensive contribution, has always been top five as well. He's even leading the league in that statistic in 2010. It is no surprise that won a Gold Glove in 2008.
His greatest contributions, though, may actually come off the field. Pedroia is the Sox' most outspoken player, and his words are always no-nonsense and entertaining. He exudes confidence and personality, and it is contagious for the club. He also works incredibly hard, setting an example by showing up to practice first every day, and is known in the clubhouse for always praising his teammates and defending them from their critics.
He's the perfect chemistry guy.
So, what is the best part of Dustin Pedroia's game?
Share your thoughts below.
Sunday: Aug 15: Would Mark Cuban be good for baseball?
Powered by WordPress.com VIP