2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 21: Why Dustin Pedroia Is Better Than Chase Utley

Nick KappelAnalyst IIIJanuary 28, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 25:  Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox in action against the San Francisco Giants during an MLB game at AT&T Park on June 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Pedroia left the game later in the inning.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Before breaking his foot last June, Dustin Pedroia was on pace for a career season: 110 runs, 25 HRs, 85 RBI, 19 steals and a .288 batting average. When recently asked if his foot was fully recovered, Pedroia replied, “Does a bear shit in the woods?”

I guess that means he’s good to go.

Given a full season as Boston’s likely No. 3 hitter behind Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford and in front of Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz, Pedroia is poised for a monster season.

He doesn’t have 30-HR power like fellow second baseman Chase Utley, but in his age 27 season, Pedroia is certainly capable of blasting 20-plus HRs. While Utley’s batting average has dropped dramatically in recent seasons (.332, .292, .282, .275), Pedroia remains equipped to post a .300 average.

Also, Pedroia has displayed month-to-month (if not year-to-year) consistency, while Utley has developed a reputation as a first-half player.

There’s also the age factor. While Pedroia (27) is just entering his prime, Utley is already 32, with his best years likely behind him.

Not many will agree with ranking Pedroia over Utley, but we’re in the business of predicting the future, not holding onto what happened three years ago. Draft Pedroia with confidence.

2010 stats3515312419.288
3-year average59795156516.307
2011 FBI Forecast700110218515.299


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