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.

Here’s some Middle Infielders that may have a hard time matching their 2008 production.

Dustin Pedroia – It’s hard to bet against the diminutive Pedroia, but I don’t see him matching last season’s MVP production.  He went from 86 Runs, 165 Hits, 39 Doubles, 8 HRs, 50 RBI, and 7 SBs as Rookie of the Year to 118 R, 213 H, 54 2Bs, 17 HRs, 83 RBI, and 20 SBs.  I think he’ll settle in somewhere in between those two.  I have him on a .320, 105 R, 200 H, 48 Double, 15 HR, 70 RBI, and 15 SB season.
Mark De Rosa
– A move to Cleveland lowers my expectations for De Rosa.  He won’t be in nearly as good a lineup.  I expect most of his numbers to hold since they have for the past three years, but I see his Runs (103), HRs (21), and RBI (87) to take a hit.  Somewhere around 75 Runs, 15 HRs, and 70 RBI seems more feasible.
Cristian Guzmán
– Guzzie was one of the best stories in baseball last year hitting .316 with 77 Runs, 183 Hits, 35 Doubles, 9 HRs, and 55 RBI. He’s actually hit well the past two years (184 games) with the Nationals going 240 for 753 (.319).  Aside from that stretch he’s only topped .280 once.  I suspect that’s about what he’ll hit next year with 160 Hits and 40 RBI.
Mike Aviles
Mike Aviles – Aviles hit .325 as a Rookie with 68 Runs, 136 Hits, 27 2Bs, 10 HRs, and 51 RBI in 102 games.  That forecasts out to 108 Runs, 216 Hits, 43 2Bs, 16 HRs, and 81 RBI.  I’d be surprised if he met those forecasts.  I’m expecting a .310, 90 R, 38 2Bs, 14 HRs, and 70 RBI.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

Wednesday, June 25th
Carl Crawford
hit a pair of HRs with 5 RBI.  Bobby Abreu had 3 Hits and 4 RBI.  Carlos Guillen had 4 Hits and 3 RBI.  Jay Payton hit a pair of HRs with 4 RBI.  David Wright smacked a pair of HRs with 3 RBI.  Rick Ankiel had 2 HRs, 3 Runs, and 3 RBI.  Gary Sheffield and Chase Utley each had 4 Hits.  Kelly Johnson, Geovany Soto,  Jose Reyes, Kevin Cash each had 3 RBI.  Dustin Pedroia, Coco Crisp, Derek Jeter (3 Runs), Jose Castillo, Robinson Cano, Jack WIlson, Alex Rios, Evan Longoria (3 RBI), Ross Gload, and Carlos Gomez each had 3 Hits.  Mike Lowell and Brian Buscher each scored 3 Runs.

Eric Stults pitched a Complete Game four-hit Shutout to improve to 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA.  Kyle Kendrick gave up 4 Hits in 8 scoreless Innings to improve to 7-3.  Joba Chamberlain continued to prove The Boss II right by firing 6-2/3 scoreless Innings improving to 2-2 with a 2.03 ERA.  Tim Wakefield knuckled 7 scoreless Innings allowing 2 Hits with 6 Ks to improve to 5-5 with a 3.88 ERA.  Jorge Campillo gave up 2 Runs on 4 Hits with 6 Ks in 7 Innings to improve to 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA.  Randy Johnson gave up 2 Runs in 6 Innings, but took the Loss.  Barry Zito shocked Giants fans by going 6-2/3 Innings allowing just 1 Run on 4 Hits to improve to 3-11.  Tim Redding gave up 2 Runs in 6 Innings, but got a no-decision.  John Maine gave up 2 Runs in 6 Innings to improve to 8-5 with a 3.73 ERA.  James Shields gave up 1 Run on 4 Hits in 7 Innings to improve to 5-5 with a 3.76 ERA.  Luke Hochevar gave up 2 Runs in 8 Innings to even his record at 5-5.

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