Second to Some: Dustin Pedroia Is Far from AL's Best Second Baseman

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Second to Some: Dustin Pedroia Is Far from AL's Best Second Baseman
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Another day...another article...and after the Red Sox clinched the American League Wild Card after a Texas Rangers loss, the interviews came. One interview specifically claimed to speak to the "best second baseman in the American League."

Excuse me? Sorry, Dustin Pedroia is not the best second baseman in the American League. In fact, he's the worst second baseman in his own division, which is full of elites at the position.

 

1. The Offense: Pedroia Won't Be Winning a Silver Slugger This Year

Player Runs AVG HR RBI OPS SB
Aaron Hill
102 .286 36 105 .832 5
Ben Zobrist
87 .288 25 85 .924 16
Robinson Cano
102 .322 25 85 .877 5
Brian Roberts
107 .287 16 78 .818 29
Dustin Pedroia
111 .298 13 68 .812 20


Pedroia leads second basemen in one offensive category: runs. He's not the best power hitter (Aaron Hill), not the best hitter for average (Robinson Cano), not the best combo hitter (Ben Zobrist) and not the best base-stealer (Brian Roberts). Yes, Pedroia can score. Congratulations, that just means Boston has a potent offense.

 

2. The Defense: Pedroia Shouldn't Be Winning a Gold Glove This Year

Dustin Pedroia is not the best defensive second baseman in the American League. He will win the Gold Glove, but he shouldn't. The best defensive second baseman in baseball is Placido Polanco of the Detroit Tigers. The numbers speak for themselves:

Player UZR Fielding %
Placido Polanco
11.4 .997
Dustin Pedroia
11.0 .991

 

3. The Pre-Empts: Pedroia Is Just Another Average Second Baseman This Year

D.A., you're just a Boston hater...

True, I don't like Boston, but I have nothing but respect for Pedroia's abilities. I've called him a player who will save baseball. I'm just speaking the truth: Pedroia is not an elite second baseman this year.

Pedroia grinds it out...the numbers don't tell the way he plays the game, man...

This is probably the worst argument, ever, because it applies to every second baseman, not just Pedroia. Aaron Hill's defensive stats say he sucks, but he doesn't. Stats don't show that Robinson Cano has massively improved his defense. They also don't show what a versatile player Ben Zobrist has become. And this "small man" role is getting tiresome, because Brian Roberts played that role before Pedroia came into the league.

Ridicule me all you want, but the numbers don't lie. Pedroia has talent. But when compared to the other second basemen in the American League this year, Pedroia is ranked No. 5...in his own division.

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