Dustin Pedroia is a career .304/.372/.460 hitter with a World Series ring and both a Rookie of the Year and MVP trophy on his mantle. He’s regarded as one of the game’s very best fielders, too, and has a couple of Gold Gloves to show for it. He’s 29 and currently in the middle of his finest season yet.
With the 2013 Boston Red Sox in dire need of leadership both in the form of day-to-day professionalism and on-field productivity, Pedroia has stepped up and more than fulfilled those responsibilities. He’s played in every game this season. His on-base percentage currently sits at .425 and he is starting to mix in more power. Once a free-swinger, Pedroia has upped his walk rate to career high levels.
His overall productivity for this season needn’t subside, either. Pedroia could offset whatever “regression” analysts might have in store for him given the high balls-in-play average by boosting a career-low isolated slugging percentage. If his new-found patience is here to stay and he can continue to edge his slugging numbers back to career norms, he will have reached a whole new level as a ballplayer.
Whatever the case, if Pedroia stays with the Red Sox and can continue to play regularly well into his 30’s, he will without question surpass Hall-of-Famer Bobby Doerr as the finest second baseman in franchise history. Let’s take it a step further - heck I see no reason to hold back - it’s even looking like Pedroia retires as one of the five best Red Sox position players of all time.
Oftentimes fans appreciate greatness towards the end. With Pedroia over 4,000 plate appearances into his career and playing better than he ever has before, Red Sox fans should savor the opportunity to take in Pedroia’s accomplishments, professionalism and historical significance in real-time.