Cooperstown Bound for Pedroia?
Photo Credit: NESN.com
Is he a Hall of Famer?
Is a question that has been asked lately in Boston pertaining to second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
As of now, he’s on the right path. However, it’s not a sure bet Pedroia will be enshrined in Cooperstown.
The Laser Show, as he’s called in Boston, was drafted by the Red Sox in the second round, 65th overall, of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft. Pedroia is considered the leader of the Red Sox, which coincides with the fact he is the longest tenured player on the team.
The Woodland, California native is arguably the greatest second baseman in Red Sox history, but he doesn’t have as clear of a path to the Hall of Fame as one might think. Let’s take a look at the figures that could make or break his claim to Baseball Hall of Fame.
The accolades already garnered by Pedroia are impressive. In his inaugural campaign of 2007, Pedroia brought home the AL Rookie of the Year Award and won the World Series. In his sophomore campaign, things skyrocketed as he brought him quite a bit of hardware. Pedroia took captured his only Silver Slugger Award, his first of four Gold Glove Awards, the AL MVP and made his first of four trips to the All-Star Game. He led the league in runs, hits and doubles that season.
Here is look at all Pedroia’s accolades (list via Baseball Almanac)
- 2007 Boston Red Sox Rookie of the Year Award
- 2007 Player of the Week Award
- 2007 Players Choice Outstanding Rookie of the Year Award
- 2007 Rookie of the Month Award (May)
- 2007 Rookie of the Year Award (BBWAA)
- 2007 Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award
- 2008 Gold Glove Award, Second Basemen
- 2008 Most Valuable Player Award
- 2008 Silver Slugger Award, American League
- 2008 Thomas A. Yawkey Award (Red Sox MVP)
- 2011 Boston Red Sox Jackie Jensen Spirit Award
- 2011 Gold Glove Award, Second Basemen
- 2011 Player of the Month Award
- 2012 Thomas A. Yawkey Award (Red Sox MVP)
- 2012 Wilson Defensive Player of The Year Award
- 2013 Fielding Bible Award, Second Basemen
- 2013 Gold Glove Award, Second Basemen
- 2013 Heart and Hustle Award
- 2013 Wilson Defensive Player of The Year Award
- 2013 Wilson Defensive Player of The Year Award (#1 Rated in American League)
- 2014 Boston Red Sox Jackie Jensen Spirit Award
- 2014 Fielding Bible Award, Second Basemen
- 2014 Gold Glove Award, Second Basemen
- 2016 Fielding Bible Award, Second Basemen
- 2016 Wilson Defensive Player of The Year
As one of the truly great second baseman of this generation, does Pedroia have the numbers and credibility to get a call to the Hall of Fame?
Let’s take a look at recent inductees at Pedroia’s age:
Craig Biggio through age 30: 5,205 plate appearances, 245 doubles, 94 home runs, .285 average and .371 on-base percentage and WAR of 35.1
Roberto Alomar through age 30: 6.48 plate appearance, 332 doubles, 127 home runs, .302 average, .370 on-base percentage and WAR of 46.6
Pedroia through age 30: 5,157 plate appearances, 320 doubles, 106 home runs, .299 average, .366 on-base percentage and WAR of 43
Some of the intangibles that can’t be processed in the metrics that make a Hall Of Famer can also play a factor in the ballots. One of the biggest compliments coming for the best closer to ever play the game.
“If I have to win one game, I’d have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman,” former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said. “Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for 27 outs. It’s a special thing to see.”
Rivera’s quote shows the respect opposing teams of the second basemen. David Ross has similar words in The Players’ Tribune.
“His sole focus is winning, and he does everything he can to help his team win. Dustin never gives an at bat away,” Ross wrote. “He’s 100 percent focused on everything he does on the baseball field, regardless of the score or situation. It’s the only way he knows how to play. That’s a winner’s mentality.”
Ross then proceeded to tell a story about how Pedroia is on the field with the never-ending hunger to win.
“Here’s a story about Dustin that kinda sums him up: We were playing the Tigers in Boston in 2013,” Ross wrote. “It was the bottom of the sixth and we had just scored five runs to take a 10–4 lead. We were blowing it open. Then Dustin got called out on a borderline third strike, and he let the umpire have it. He came into the dugout ranting and raving, like, “That wasn’t a strike! They need to stay professional and not let the score dictate!”
Pedroia is on a path to a Hall of Fame career. Numbers don’t lie and if he can stay healthy, his stats will be in line with the most recent to be enshrined at the position