No. 3: Dustin Pedroia
Red Sox fans will surely want to see the veteran second baseman higher on the list, but an objective review can’t find enough evidence to rationalize Pedroia winning the Final Vote.
This has still been a strong season for Pedroia, who has been hampered by injuries the past two years. His .305 batting average and .810 OPS are the highest he has produced since 2011, a season that saw him finish 9th in MVP voting.
The Laser Show is 7th in the league with 103 hits and his 20 doubles puts him on pace to flirt with the 40 mark, which he hasn’t done since 2013, when he was last an All-Star. He is also showing more pop in his bat with 8 home runs, putting him on a pace that would give him the most he has hit since the career-high 21 that he smacked in 2011.
Where Pedroia’s value has really shined most has been in the field, where his 7 defensive runs saved leads the league among second basemen. His range appeared to be slipping the past couple of years, but getting healthy and spending the winter focusing on agility has restored him to his Gold Glove form.
Despite all those positives, Pedroia still comes up short (not a pun based on his height, honest!). He has a frustrating habit of grounding into double-plays, leading the majors with 16. His 2.9 WAR is 17th in the league, but only 4th among second basemen. That not only keeps him outside of the elite at his position, it means he’s not even the top second baseman on the Final Vote ballot.
Next: Ian Kinsler