Dustin Pedroia has not been in the major leagues long, but he has certainly made a name for himself throughout the first four years of his career. This youngster seemed to come out of a nowhere and fit right in with the powerful Red Sox lineup.
His baseball career began in Woodland, California, where he played high school ball. During his senior year, Pedroia batted .445 and was the league's MVP.
After high school, Pedroia went to Arizona State University, where he battled Ian Kinsler for the shortstop position. Kinsler eventually transferred to the University of Missouri, allowing Pedroia the opportunity to have shortstop all to himself.
In the three years he spend at Arizona State University, Pedroia never missed a game. In fact, he hit an average of .384. In order to help ASU recruit better pitchers, Pedroia relinquished the last two years of his athletic scholarship.
In 2004, Pedroia was drafted by the Red Sox with the 65th pick overall. While he was in the minors, Pedroia started to play second base as well. A couple of years later, he replaced second basemen Mark Loretta.
To start the 2007 season, Pedoria hit a dismal .172 through the first month of play. By the end of the season his average was .317 as he earned the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Pedroia then helped the Red Sox win their second World Series in four years.
The following season, he was even better. Pedroia put together an MVP season for the Red Sox, finishing with a .326 average, just behind Joe Mauer (.328). His offense wasn't the only thing he had going.
With only 6 errors in 773 plays at second base, Pedroia was second in the AL in fielding percentage by a second baseman (.992), behind Mark Ellis (.993, OAK), who had almost 200 fewer total chances.
Pedroia has made a huge impact with the Red Sox and is an exciting player to watch. Many Boston fans look forward to him being on the team for years to come.
Here is a trivia question for you. See if you can get it without looking up the answer.
What number did Pedroia wear in 2006? Vote here
The answer will be in next week's “Sox In Focus” at http://fenwaybaseball.com/
About the Author
Written by Kevin Freiheit