Rant Sports MLB Top 50 Players of 2014: No. 32 Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia debuted on Aug. 22, 2006 and has been a huge contributor for the Boston Red Sox ever since. Pedroia is one of the top two second basemen every season, usually competing with New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano for label of best second baseman in the MLB.
Pedroia, listed at just 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, has always been a fan-favorite because he is not only a great player, but he is also a team leader and a player that always gives maximum effort. Pedroia doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses in his game; for a guy his size, he does hit for decent power, especially to the gaps.
The Red Sox’ second baseman is very good defensively, hits for a high average, draws his fair share of walks, steals bases and gets a lot of extra base hits. Pedroia is a career .302/.370/.454 hitter with a 119 wRC+. He has more walks than strikeouts in his career, striking out in just 8.9 percent of his career plate appearances and walking in 9.3 percent.
In 724 plate appearances throughout 2013, Pedroia hit .301/.372/.415 with nine home runs and 17 stolen bases. Among second baseman defensively, he ranked second with a 10.9 UZR and his 11.7 UZR/150 ranked third. Pedroia’s 5.4 fWAR ranked 18 in the entire MLB while playing 160 games.
Pedroia’s position on the field, second base, makes him so much more valuable to the Red Sox. There are so few legitimate second basemen in baseball that having an MVP-caliber player at second base gives the Red Sox an upper-hand over the rest of the league. One of the most complete players in baseball, Pedroia is without a doubt a top 50 player in MLB.