Dustin Pedroia has entered Boston lore as one of the grittiest, hard-nosed, and best second basemen ever to don a Red Sox uniform. With a Rookie of the Year, an MVP, four Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger, four All-Star berths, and two World Series championships under his belt, Pedroia has made his mark on the Red Sox with his bat and glove.
Now eleven years since the Red Sox drafted Pedroia out of Arizona State University in the second round of the 2004 draft, the Red Sox have a shot at landing another gritty, talented middle infielder. Alex Bregman, a shortstop at Louisiana State University, has drawn Pedroia comparisons all across the board from both his style of play and his attributes on both sides of the ball.
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Both Bregman’s offensive and defensive profiles are incredibly reminiscent of a young Pedroia. He brings an all-out style of play and he draws widespread acclaim for his makeup and competitive nature. At the plate, his swing is geared towards contact but he does also bring moderate power to the table and has slashed .329/.417/.577 in his junior season at LSU. Expect that power to drop a bit once Bregman makes the switch to wood bats, but he projects to have roughly average power going forward.
Defensively, Bregman has played shortstop for the majority of his college career. His future at the position is uncertain, as he doesn’t boast great speed, but he has made strides this spring and now bears at least a decent chance of sticking at shortstop.
If the Red Sox do end up drafting Bregman, the Pedroia comparisons may never stop for the 21-year old. As with all prospects, it’s unreasonable to expect Bregman’s career to parallel Pedroia’s success, but it’s tough to deny that they are very similar players. Bregman’s ceiling might be lower than other potential Red Sox draftees but he has a very high floor and could move quickly through the farm system. And, who knows, perhaps the Red Sox will find another gem in a hard-nosed college middle infielder, much as they did with Pedroia in 2004?