As a Boston Red Sox fan I realize that this is an extremely biased statement, but I strongly believe that Dustin Pedroia is the best second baseman in baseball.
Calm down New York Yankees fans. Robinson Cano is still a great player, but what Pedroia is doing for the Red Sox this year is quietly going under the radar. The gritty Boston second baseman has hit in 10 straight games, and in seven of those games he has multiple hits including two games where he collected three hits.
Critics will point out that Cano has more power than Pedroia does. They could certainly point out that Pedroia has only one home run and 18 RBI this year, while Cano has five home runs and 31 RBI. While they have a valid point, they are ignoring other integral aspects of Pedroia’s game that make him so great.
Not only does Pedey get on base, he turns these opportunities into runs. In baseball the team with the most runs wins the game. Cano has 25 runs scored, while Pedroia has 30. Considering that five of Cano’s runs have come from home runs and only one of Pedroia’s has, that means that Pedroia has scored 29 times after getting on base while Cano has scored just 20 times.
What accounts for this difference? Simple: Pedroia has better instincts than Cano does. Although Pedroia is not blessed with the speed of teammates Shane Victorino and Jacoby Ellsbury, he nonetheless is aggressive as anyone on the base paths. This can be seen in his nine stolen bases with only one caught stealing. Cano has only attempted two steals.
The value of being on second base as opposed to first cannot be overstated. By getting himself to second base with no outs Pedroia gives his teammates three opportunities to drive him in with just a single. This leads to runs, which leads to wins. Pedroia scored in both of the Red Sox recent one run victories this week. Meanwhile the Yankees have lost two one-run games this week and Cano has failed to score in either of those contests despite getting hits during both of those games.
Pedroia’s work ethic, desire, and will to win are contagious. He is the ultimate clubhouse leader and should be in line for MVP consideration when the season is over.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.