Dustin Pedroia – The Next Comeback Player of the Year?

A certain second baseman is making a comeback for the 2019 campaign. This player is entering his fourteen major league season. He is also currently is the longest serving member of the Boston Red Sox.

Dustin Pedroia made his Major League debut on August 22nd, 2006 against the Loscomeback Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I doubt that Pedroia would think that a year later he would be on his way to not only win the Rookie of the Year award, but also win his first of many World Series championships.

The Man Who Wears #15…

When you look at second base, the player that is usually there wears the number 15. The man many fans know as Pedey, Laser Show and The Muddy Chicken, is making a comeback. When Pedroia came into Spring Training this year, he looked like a whole different person. Pedroia signed an eight year contract extension back on July 23rd 2013. This occurred about three months prior to the Red Sox winning another World Series championship, and about a week after playing in his fourth All Star game.

When you look at Pedroia, he’s not your typical second baseman, however, when he’s on the field, he gives everything he’s got. Many Red Sox fans know about his knee injury, and we also know about the slide seen around the world.

Since then, Pedroia underwent another knee surgery. Due to that, his time on the field in 2018 was limited to three games. One can only hope that this will be the year that Pedroia goes out and seeks revenge. If he does pull it off, he could ultimately win the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Can Pedroia Pull Off The Comeback?

The amount and time that he has given to coming back to play in the 2019 season is great, especially for someone as tough as Pedroia.

It was reported on March 18th that Pedroia will be continuing his rehab assignments, while the team is in Seattle for Opening Day. However, that is not stopping him from continuing to work hard and keep getting stronger. From the looks of it, the Pedroia of old arrived in camp back in February. The lingering question, of course, is how many games he will play once Cora puts him into the Red Sox lineup. Well, only time can really tell. That, and Pedroia, the man on a mission.

Dustin Pedroia is Back to his Best

This season, Red Sox Nation has lavished praise on numerous players, but the reemergence of Dustin Pedroia as an elite performer hasn’t received enough attention. Perhaps that’s due to the consistent, understated nature of his excellence, or perhaps its due to the success of younger players like Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts. However, the gritty second baseman is finally healthy and back to his best, which should excite fans throughout baseball, not just in Boston.

Dustin Pedroia

Last year, Pedroia was hobbled by hamstring injuries that limited him to just 93 games. Around the league, some experts began to question whether he’d lost a step on defense, and the future appeared more uncertain than ever for the cornerstone icon. Yet so far this season, Pedey has proved the doubters wrong. Through thirty-seven games, he’s hitting .299 with a .349 on-base percentage, 6 home runs and 20 RBI. While other players have gained greater recognition, Dustin Pedroia is still the linchpin of this Red Sox batting order. He still sets the tone for what has become an offensive juggernaut.

Even at 32-years old, you can make the case for Pedroia as one of baseball’s greatest second basemen. Sure, Jose Altuve is a phenomenon; Robinson Cano is historically good; and Daniel Murphy is having an inspired time with the bat. But Dustin Pedroia can still mix with the best of them. Right now, Fangraphs ranks him as the best defensive player at his position this season. That concept is affirmed when watching games, because Pedroia is still capable of sublime, ranging plays that take your breath away. While second base has become more of an offensive position, Pedroia’s bat still plays really well there, and he currently ranks seventh in Wins Above Replacement among second-sackers.

However, as Vin Scully once said, “Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.” You cannot get an accurate read on the importance of Dustin Pedroia to the Red Sox merely by looking at reams of data. It’s important to watch the games, see his maximum effort, and appreciate the way he grind through every pitch on both sides of the ball. Dustin is a real leader, and he embodies the heart and soul of Boston baseball.

Dustin Pedroia Back to His Best

Pedroia’s competitive instinct is well documented. He never stops fighting, and isn’t content to walk off the field with a clean uniform. Dustin focuses on the minutiae perhaps more than any player in the game today, as demonstrated by his noticing a change in the delivery of David Price. Nowadays, baseball players can often get lazy. Exorbitant salaries can blunt the desire to win, as Red Sox Nation has discovered with many expensive flops. Overall, the game is played a bit more sloppily than it used to be, but Dustin Pedroia is a throwback to a bygone age of intense competition, and that can only have a positive impact on the Red Sox.

Right now, it’s still too early to tell what Boston may achieve this season. The Sox are fighting Baltimore for supremacy in the East, but modern baseball seems to be more unpredictable than ever before. Still, you get the feeling that this offense is capable of something truly special, and that postseason ball could return to Fenway Park this fall. Dustin Pedroia has already been a key figure in two World Series championships, and he’s definitely the kind of guy who can carry a team in October.

That may be a long way off, but there’s a certain magic in the air. Pedey is back to his elite level, and that is huge for a franchise that relies on his spirit as much as his talent.

Mookie Betts Has Come A Long Way Since Last Opening Day

mookie betts

Mooke Betts began the 2015 regular season right where he left off in Spring Training—going 2 for 4, including a home run, an RBI and two runs scored in the Red Sox 8-0 shutout victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Betts led off the bottom of the third inning by lacing an 89 MPH first-pitch cutter frMookie Bettsom Cole Hamels over the left field fence, extending the Red Sox lead to 2-0 at the time. Betts is the youngest player to hit lead off on Opening Day for the Red Sox since Rico Petrocelli did the honors in 1965, according to ESPN.

The road to the show for Betts has been a long one, as the 22-year old Nashville, TN native began last season as the starting second baseman for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs against the Phillies (this time of Reading, PA), before transitioning to center field mid-season.

Betts started that 2014 campaign, one that saw him reach the majors for 55 games with the Red Sox, in a similar fashion to this year. In his first at bat Betts drilled a home run, finishing the day 4 for 4, with three runs scored an a RBI.

“He’s taken an uncommon path to get to this point when you consider last year at spring training he wasn’t even in major league camp and now he’s hitting leadoff in a whole different position,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com.

Even though the last 12 months or so have been a whirlwind for the young outfielder, Betts has remained humble and focused.

“It feels kind of normal now,” Betts said prior to his Opening Day start. “That I got to play last year, then the off season to think about it, and coming to big league spring training, it’s kind of normal now. I got used to it.”

“Everything starts from zero now—I’m not trying to roll anything over, I’m just trying to go out and continue to do whatever I do.”