Is Dustin Pedroia a Second Round Draft Pick?

Mar 5, 2009

Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

According to Mock Draft Central, Dustin Pedroia currently holds an ADP of 23.83, meaning, on average, he’s being selected with the last pick of the second round.  While Pedroia erupted for an MVP campaign in his second full season (after winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 2007), there still is a lot of risk involved in calling his name this early in your draft.

Let’s first take a look at the numbers he posted last season:

653 At Bats
.326 Batting Average (213 Hits)
17 Home Runs
83 RBI
118 Runs
20 Stolen Bases
.376 On Base Percentage
.493 Slugging Percentage
.336 Batting Average on Balls in Play

It was a remarkable season, to say the least.  The average is the first number that jumps out at you, and is one that is easily repeatable.  His BABIP is not out-of-whack, especially given the fact that he posted a .334 in his rookie season.

He rarely strikes out, posting K rates of:

  • 2007 – 8.1%
  • 2008 – 8.0%

There’s certainly no reason to think that’s suddenly going to change.  Last season he was fifth in the league.  Two years ago he was third.  He just has an ability to put the bat on the ball, and with some decent wheels allows him to hit to a solid average year in and year out.

Speaking of that speed, where did it come from?  Not that he couldn’t run, but in 2007 he had just 7 SB.  In his minor league career, he had 12…total!  So, how does he suddenly go about not only stealing, but doing it so successfully?

I would find it hard to believe that he musters a similar season this year, though I could see him barely reaching double-digits.  That’s not a number that’s going to hurt you, though he likely won’t be in the same vicinity as guys like Ian Kinsler or Brandon Phillips.

Now to the HR…  Yes, he had shown similar power back in 2005 between Double & Triple A, when he hit a total of 13 HR.  The truth of the matter is that he had started to show signs of a power stroke in 2007, even though it was just 5 after the All-Star Break.

He hit two a piece in August & September, which would have put him on a pace for 12, not that far off the 17 he hit last season.  Granted, his HR/FB rate rose from 4.4% to 7.8%, but is that number really so unbelievable?  While I can’t imagine him taking any significant step forward here, there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t be in the same neighborhood next season.

The runs are really the stat that brings Pedroia his value, finishing eighth in the league.  His monthly breakdown brings an interesting story:

  • April – 13
  • May – 19
  • June – 21
  • July – 19
  • August – 33
  • September – 12

So, the month immediately following the departure of Manny Ramirez, Pedroia manages to go on a scoring spree.  Part of his outburst could be associated with Jason Bay, who obviously had something to prove in his Boston debut (he had 29 RBI in August).

You also have to factor in the struggles of David Ortiz, who just never put his season together.  For the first time since 2002, he failed to drive in 100 runs (89 in 416 AB), and you have to believe that a healthy Ortiz should help Pedroia continue to score runs in droves.

The question is, however, how much extra value does this really bring?  He hits to a very good average and scores a lot of runs, but is likely to end up as a 15/15 player and not take any major steps forward.

Does that make him more valuable then someone like Brandon Phillips, who has proven an ability to go 30/30 in the past (and score 100 runs too)?  Yes, Pedroia will have a higher average and a few more runs, but Phillips is going to easily outperform Pedroia in HR, RBI and SB.

Phillips is not going far below him (ADP of 30.37), but still, it appears he is entrenched in the third round.  When I did my 2B Rankings (click here to view), I put Phillips ahead of Pedroia, and I stand by that.  To me, the potentially big HR/SB combination that Phillips brings to the table makes him the more valuable player, especially if he  gets his average back to the .280, as I am anticipating.

I think Pedroia is a great baseball player, but from a fantasy perspective he doesn’t hold as much weight.  People see him winning the ROY and posting an MVP campaign and are trying to pounce on him, but to me it doesn’t make sense in round 2.  He just doesn’t bring enough to the table and has too many questions surrounding his power and speed production to take that risk, especially when Phillips is going later on.

What do you think?  Is he a player you would take in the second round?

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

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4 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Anonymous
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    People see him winning the ROY and posting an MVP campaign and are trying to pounce on him, but to me it doesn’t make sense in round 2.

    I think that sums up the article perfectly because of the recognition associated with winning MVP. But that doesn’t mean he’s suddenly going to rocket up the draft lists. I like Pedroia, but I don’t think using a late second round pick on him is a good idea knowing that you would have to wait awhile before picking again if you take him too early.

    Once again, Roto delivers another great post!

  2. David Funk
    March 5th, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    LOL!!!! Sorry, Lester. That was my reply to this! For some reason, my info was erased when I replied the first time! So I had to add back it again.

  3. LestersLegends
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    No prob David. Totally agree with you.

  4. Red Sox Throwback Jerseys
    March 23rd, 2009 at 3:19 am #

    I really liked your blog with the Red Sox mention!

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