Dustin Pedroia is on a rampage.
After battling through a rough month of May in which Pedroia batted .213, he has been ripping it up lately. In his last 10 games, Pedroia is batting .500 with a 1.258 OPS. In the month of June, Pedroia is doing pretty much the same with a .359 batting average and a .948 OPS.
This is the Dustin Pedroia we all know and love.Since the end of May, Pedroia has raised his batting average from .255 to .284 -- nearly 30 more points in 19 games. He went from being in one of the worst slumps in his career to mashing the ball better than ever.
What's the difference? Well for starters, Pedroia is hitting the ball on a line. This is Pedroia's line drive rate so far this year, broken down by month:
Of course, a batter is more prone to get a hit when said batter is hitting line drives. That makes sense as line drives are hard-hit balls that aren't fielded as easily as a groundout or popout. These stats correlate and that makes complete sense.
Here's how Pedroia performed last year in the same department:
Pedroia's recent boost has put him back into the ranks as one of the best second basemen in the American League. Actually, all things considered, it seems like Pedroia is a clear No. 2 in the AL -- behind the Yankees' Robinson Cano, who is just having a freakishly season.
Here's how Pedroia stacks up with some other AL second basemen:
|Robinson Cano (NYY)||14||.367||.416||.607||.376||.436||4.4|
|Dustin Pedroia (BOS)||9||.284||.358||.468||.287||.364||2.7|
|Orlando Hudson (MIN)||3||.292||.362||.401||.331||.348||1.9|
|Ty Wigginton (BAL)||13||.274||.361||.487||.281||.368||0.8|
|Howie Kendrick (LAA)||7||.273||.305||.421||.295||.320||0.1|
Here's the thing: Cano has to regress ... right? His BABIP is an all-too high .376, when his career average is .326. Essentially, he's getting lucky. But as of right now, Cano isn't slowing down. Cano is hitting .377 in June and is walking at a 10.3 percent clip. His career walk percentage? It's 4.5. So Cano is obviously doing something right this month (which could be as easy as hitting the ball well. Opposing teams aren't giving him anything easy to hit now that he's shown he can take a pitch and put it anywhere).
As good as Cano has been, we can't overlook what Pedroia is doing. Unlike Cano, Pedroia isn't getting lucky at all. His .287 BABIP falls right in line where it should be. He's actually getting unlucky compared to his history when you consider he had a .331 BABIP during his MVP season of 2008.
Pedroia's power has also been a nice sight, even though most of it did come earlier in the season. Pedroia is on pace for 21 home runs, which would be a career-high for Scrappy Doo. The downside of all this is that he's on pace to strikeout 74 times this season. That would also be a career-high. One I'm sure he wouldn't be proud of at the end of the year.
With the Red Sox being the hottest team in baseball, it's no surprise that their former MVP and No. 2 hitter is right at the center of it. As long as Pedroia is hitting, it seems like this team is hitting, too. Add in the fact he's playing very good defense and his baseball IQ is as high as ever (did you see him take third base on his steal of second on Sunday night?), and we've got ourselves one of the best in baseball.
Watch for the Laser Show to come to a town near you.