Is Dustin Pedroia This Year’s Jacoby Ellsbury?
By Conor Duffy
Remember a couple of years ago when Dustin Pedroia was the cover athlete of MLB 09 The Show? Well, if so, you may remember the commercials in which the producers of The Show were trying to convince Pedroia that he could not hit a high-inside fastball. Mr. Pedroia appears to have righted that flaw with all three of his home runs this year coming on that pitch. Speaking of which, Pedroia currently leads the Red Sox in home runs with three in eleven games so far. This reminds me quite a bit of last season when Jacoby Ellsbury was leading the Red Sox in home runs and everybody was laughing at the ineptitude of the rest of the team– Ellsbury hit 32 that season. Last year’s experience shows to me that Pedroia’s early season power surge may not be a fluke after all.
Pedroia is in the prime of his career– he is 28– and is coming off a season in which he set career highs in home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases– not to mention several other offensive categories. Pedroia is transforming from a contact hitter into one of the best all around players in baseball– he had a great season where he hit .307/.387/.474 with 21 homers and 91 RBIs. Those would be solid numbers for a first baseman hitting #3 on most teams, but to have a second baseball batting #2 that can do that is valuable beyond belief. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Pedroia continued his power surge and he may end up hitting 30 home runs before long. That’s a bit much to expect from a 5’9″ second baseman– but if anyone can do it, it’s my favorite player– Dustin Pedroia.
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