Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia provides veteran presence

BOSTON, MA - JULY 20: Dustin Pedroia
BOSTON, MA - JULY 20: Dustin Pedroia /

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is the veteran this young team needs as they move closer to a playoff run. Will he be able to lead by example?

Second Baseman Dustin Pedroia is by far the longest tenured player on the Boston Red Sox roster. He is the only player left from the 2007 Championship team, and with David Ortiz gone, he has served as the veteran voice.

As essentially the only veteran core player on the club, his presence must be missed after multiple stints on the disabled list – even though the Red Sox are currently riding a winning streak. Pedroia is a mainstay in Boston, and after the David Price / Dennis Eckersley saga, he was not afraid to remind everybody who was in charge after media outlets started questioning the team’s leadership.

Everybody knows of his past at this point, and he has never been one to shy away from challenges, which makes him the attitude he needs in a clubhouse full of impressionable young talent. However, it is not just his clubhouse presence that has gotten him this far.

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His bulldog mentality on the field is what absolutely sets him apart. With a career batting average of .301 and an OBP of .367, his offensive ability can be hidden by his size. He has always been a force at the top of the lineup from his rookie year on. His 52.5 WAR cements his status as one of the best Red Sox second baseman of all time.

His defensive capabilities have always stood out from his peers. He has never tallied more than seven errors in one season. In terms of defense, he’s about as sure as a player as you can get and then some. Pedroia has consistently made huge outs over the past decade plus he has been on the team.

As the team moves closer to securing a playoff spot, his presence among the young club should make a huge difference. He is one of few players on the club who knows how to win, and in a playoff run, a team will always face tough situations. He has felt the ups and downs of both winning and losing big games and can help a team through a tough late game loss.

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Pedroia is one of the few veterans this team has, and the only one that has won two World Series. He is one guy who can help to push through the struggles of Mookie Betts, and he can help reign in Andrew Benintendi’s over-aggressive tendencies on the base paths that could seriously hurt the team. He can help a young Rafael Devers continue to make the adjustments needed for a long career.

Dustin Pedroia is most definitely the leader of this team, and he has earned it.