Comments: Laser Show. Pedroia came to the Sox via the draft in 2004 and was starting for the Sox at 2B in 2007. In his short minor league career he showed a knack for getting on base (0.392) that carries through to this day. Pedroia packs a wallop in his short-stocky frame and while he is not, and never will be a true power-hitter, his stroke is doubles friendly and the occasional 15-20 will find themselves over the outfield fence. Pedroia was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2007 after posting a 0.317 BA and 0.380 OBP over 581 major league PAs. Not to be outdone, his 2008 campaign was even better. Pedroia led the majors in hits (213) and doubles (54), the AL in runs scored (118) and hit 0.326 to earn the AL MVP award in just his second season. Dustin had another solid season in 2009 and was looking like he might equal or better his 2008 season last year when he was derailed by injury that stole about 1/2 of his year. During his 2010 season he hit 12 homers almost equaling the 15 that he hit all of 2009. His OPS+ of 127 was the highest of his career last season. Pedroia, now just entering his age 27 season, is the Red Sox sparkplug. He hardly ever gets cheated in an at-bat and should be on base a ton in front of a potent middle of the order.
Unique Stats/Facts: Since his rookie year in 2007, Pedroia is second only to Chase Utley (28.6) in WAR by a second-basemen (18.7). Since 2007, Pedroia is 4th in the majors in doubles with 165 and likely would have been higher if not for his injury (Markakis-188, Holliday-172, Pujols-167). As good as Pedroia's 1/2 season was last year, it could have been even better thanks to a lowly 0.236 against lefties - whom he has historically faired well against.
Analysis: The Sox took a major hit losing Pedroia to injury last year. Look for a big rebound from Dustin. He should see plenty of home plate this year atop a potent lineup.
Projection: .297/0.372/0.462 0.367-wOBA, 17-HR, 16-SB, 108-R, 51-2B
Tomorrow: Stolmy Pimentel