Dustin Pedroia, MVP?


There’s been growing talk about Dustin Pedroia being seriously considered for the AL MVP. He’s first in the league in hits, runs and batting average, and has kept our Sox battling through all kinds of injuries. He’s also in the top 10 for total bases, singles, doubles, runs created, extra-base hits and times on base. Josh Hamilton is tailing off, and now with season-ending injuries to Ian Kinsler and Carlos Quentin, could Pedey seriously win the coveted award?

Why He Could Win

Pedey has shown himself to be one of the top pure hitters in baseball, even though he does everything wrong by all the scouts. His 92.36% contact rate is second only to Placido Polanco this year, and at 84.12%, no one can hit more balls out of the zone than Pedroia. At the same time, he’s only struck out 8.0% of the time, which ranks 6th in the Major Leagues, ahead of guys like Ichiro Suzuki and Joe Mauer. He plays stellar defense on a contending team, and has propped up one of the league’s top offenses when it was without some of its top performers. That’s really commendable.

Besides all of the reasons mentioned above, Pedroia has been a team leader and an inspiration to his teammates. Heck, he’s even inspired guys on other teams. He plays the game right, and has that attitude which endears people instead of turning them off. He’s the little engine who can, and that makes for a great story.

Why He (Probably) Won’t Win

Let’s look at some of the competition. Pedroia is 4th in runs created, with Grady Sizemore, Hamilton and Aubrey Huff ahead of him. Quentin, Nick Markakis, Justin Morneau, Alex Rodriguez and Kinsler and temmate Kevin Youkilis are not far behind. I think Sizemore and Rodriguez could be more deserving than Pedey this year, though neither of their clubs will be playoff teams. Morneau is also someone to watch, if he has a big September. With power seemingly down all over the league, those with 30+ HR will get extra credit in the eyes of the voters.

In order to be seriously considered, Pedey needs to keep up his torrid hitting; and the problem with that is that August has been his best month by far. What do you think he hit this past month? Does .374/.425/.635 with 6 HR, 33 RS and 20 RBI surprise you? He’s off to a great start this month as well, but what do you think his chances of matching or beating that are in September?

Not that these are the most important measures, but MVP voting has historically been grounded in players who make a run at the Triple Crown, guys who pile up the HR and RBI. The last second baseman to win it was Jeff Kent back in 2000, when he hit .334/.424/.596 with 33 HR and 125 RBI. No offense to Pedey, but I don’t think his line will come close to that, ever. The last 2B in the AL to win was Nellie Fox all the way back in 1959.

I’m not saying it won’t happen, and I really hope he wins. I think he’s an awesome player and for him to even be considered is amazing, given it’s only his second year. But I’ll be surprised if he comes in higher than 3rd on the ballot.

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One Response to Dustin Pedroia, MVP?

  1. Pingback: Dustin Pedroia, AL MVP!!! « Red Sox Talk

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