In 2004, Dustin Pedroia was drafted in the second round by the Boston Red Sox. Originally a shortstop he made the move to second base and was called up to for the first time in 2006, but it was in 2007 where he truly cemented his position as the Red Sox second baseman. Since then Pedroia has gone on to have an impressive Major League career. But is it impressive enough to get him into the Hall of Fame?
2007 was Pedroia’s first full season in the majors. He quickly put himself on the radar, slashing .317/.380/.442. More impressive, though, was that he only struck out 7.1% of the time. That’s well below the league average. Pedroia was more than just a bat though. He could play defense, as well. He only made six errors in 137 games. This was all good enough to earn him the American League Rookie of the Year, and more importantly, a World Series ring, when the Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies.
It was 2008, that would prove to be his real coming out party. He slashed .326/.376/.493 and hitting 17 home runs. He ended the season with an fWAR of 6.3, good enough for second in the American League. He was voted the AL MVP that season.
The rest of his career tells a similar story. When he’s healthy, Dustin Pedroia is one of the best second basemen in baseball. However, the big knock on Pedroia is going to be longevity. To date, he only has a career fWAR of 43. Remember that when we looked at Chase Utley, he had a career fWAR of 62.5. Pedroia has some work to do if he wants to get up there. This year, he has played well though. He’s currently slashing .304/.359/.454 on a Red Sox team looking for October baseball.
But, with that being said, I think Dustin Pedroia will fall short. He’s a great player, and an even better teammate. And It deserves mention that Pedroia won the Heart and Hustle Award in 2013. The Award is given to a player that “best embodies the values, spirits and traditions of baseball.” But unless something crazy happens I don’t think Pedroia belongs in Cooperstown. The numbers just aren’t there. He only has 1,567 career hits and 125 career home runs. It’s unlikely those numbers will generate serious consideration, but Dustin Pedroia has still put together a career that warrants recognition.
Stats courtesy of FanGraphs