No. 9: Dustin Pedroia, 2008
This one hurts me to put so low, since Pedroia was easily my favorite player growing up. It was awesome to see him go back to back on Rookie of the Year and MVP, but ultimately, his 2008 season just doesn't quite stand up to the ones above him on this list. The biggest thing that helped Pedroia this season was a lack of true star power in any of the other finalists for the award.
Everyone wanted to see how Pedroia would follow up his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2007, and he did so by playing an extremely solid campaign. Pedroia led the majors with 213 hits and the American League with 118 runs scored, and had one of his typical solid fielding seasons at second base for the Sox. He put up 7.0 WAR, which was one of the top marks across the league, but the thing that helped Pedroia the most, I think, is that there was no true "star" in the running for the award that year.
The other two on the podium against Pedroia were Twins standout Justin Morneau and Pedroia's teammate Kevin Youkilis, hardly names that truly excite voters. Pedroia ended up receiving 16 of the 28 first-place votes, and in the context of the season, is a deserving winner. However, when he stacks up to the rest of the list, his numbers are, in all honesty, a little lackluster.