From barely batting his weight in April and May of 2007 (which is especially bad considering he is really closer to 160 lbs than the reported 180 lbs) to winning the rookie of the year….that’s growth. But from expectations of a sophomore slump to being a front runner for the AL MVP….that’s like growing from 5' 6″ to 6′2" during the summer and coming back to high school to steal all the girls. One thing is for certain, if Pedroia does take home the MVP hardware this year, he’ll make sure NO ONE forgets it…for at least 15 years. (Can’t you picture Petey being a little old man who constantly rants about how things were better in “his day” and threaten to fight people half his age and twice his size?)
Pedroia’s story of MVP consideration a few weeks back was nice, it warmed all of our New England hearts, but his ungodly play of late puts him right in the middle of the pack…for real. This isn’t just homerism at its best, presently, Buster Olney of ESPN has Pedroia taking home the trophy, and I think we all know and respect the Busta Bust.
Pedroia’s overall numbers are impressive:
.333 17 hr 76rbi .378 obp .505 slug .883 ops…
But it is how he has done it that makes all the difference in the world. With Manny gone, no JD Drew, Mike Lowell and at times, no Kevin Youkilis; Pedrioa has elevated his game to a level that we haven’t seen since Nomar in 99'....and even that might be giving Nomar too much credit. Petey has hit .374 since the all star break which includes going well over .600 over the last 7 games. That’s right, .600 He leads the league in batting average, runs scored and hits. Not enough? he is also third in total bases, and fourth in runs created….categories always reserved for power hitters. Add to that 17 stolen bases and great play at second base….and you have a serious MVP candidate.
What gives Dusty this award however, is the timing of his greatness. He has emerged as the hottest hitter on the planet when the Sox needed it the most. Despite all of the jokes and laughter about putting him in the cleanup spot, he has put up Manny-like (or should I say Youk-like) numbers while there. The Red Sox have increased their wild card lead while closing in on the Rays, due in large part to the play of the smallest guy on the field. His fire, intensity and constant (albeit jokingly) trash talk give this team the edge it needs to make a run (and perhaps deep one) into October.
So friends, teammates and all MLB players who know Dustin Pedroia, brace yourself, because if Petey keeps this up for another week or two, there is no doubt who the AL MVP is…..and once he gets the trophy, he’ll be one small guy you won’t be able to shut up.
(image provided by Flickr)
Pedroia continues to impress everyone....with his trash talk....(thanks to youtube)