Dustin Pedroia’s career officially came to an end the other day as the Red Sox honored the long time second basemen with a star-studded ceremony on Friday night. Pedroia played 14 seasons, all with Boston from 2006 to 2019. His 2007 season ended up being his official rookie season as he did not log enough at-bats in 2006. He immediately made an impact though in the hearts and minds of Red Sox fans. Despite his small stature his play was large game in and game out. Dustin showed his heart everyday and made sure to leave it all on the field, eventually earning the nickname “Laser Show” for how hard he could hit the ball to all-fields. He put on a show each and every game. He truly gave the team everything he had, until a nagging left knee injury took its toll and he had to call it quits before his time. However, it was still worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Number 15 was a force at the dish despite his size. Ending his career with 1,805 hits, while clubbing a .299 average for his career. That’s a 162-game average of 193 hits, including reaching 200 hits in a season twice (2008, 2016). With a high rate of reaching base also comes a high rate of scoring, and the Sox looked to their star infielder for that as well. He averaged over a 162-game season; 99 runs scored for a total 922 runs. Scoring 100 runs in a season puts a player in the upper echelon of run scorers and Pedroia averaged that for his career. As expected, he wasn’t the biggest power guy. He hit a modest 140 homeruns, but most second basemen aren’t who you’re looking to for some instant offense. No, Pedroia contributed heavily with the stick by coming through with guys on base. He finished with 725 career Runs Batted In (RBIs) averaging 78 over a 162-game season. Dustin often batted at the top on the lineup, either leadoff or batting second. These are the guys you look to score the runs, not necessarily who you expect to rack up a lot of RBIs. More than enough from a guy at the top of the lineup.
Hall of Fame WAR
Now, all those stats are nice, and are the usual stats everyone sees, but a big stat people look at in determining if a player is Hall of Fame worthy is Wins Above Replacement (WAR). The average career WAR for a Hall of Fame player is about 70 for a career. Pedroia ended with a career WAR of 51.9 according to Baseball Reference. However, 70 is about average for the entire HoF, second basemen historically never had that high of a WAR stat. The highest ever for a second basemen was 127.5 set by Rogers Hornsby. However, Red Sox second basemen Bobby Doerr made the Hall with a 51.1 WAR. New York Yankee Tony Lazzeri made it was a WAR of 47.3. Bill Mazeroski of the Pirates made it with a WAR of 36.5. Pedroia has more than enough WAR as a second basemen to make the hall.
Awards and Accolades
Pedroia also has his fair share of accolades to possibly push him over the edge. He won four Gold Gloves at second (2008, 2011, 2013, and 2014). He was the Rookie of the Year in 2007. He was an all-star four times (2008-10, 2013). A three-time World Series winner (2007, 2013, 2018). Won a silver slugger in 2008. Pedroia also won the American League MVP in 2008 with two more top ten finishes in 2011 and 2013. Dustin Pedroia, to me, is a Hall of Fame Player, and should have his number retired.