What seems to be a common theme for the Boston Red Sox this year is that there is always someone on the team who has a hot bat. When one player cools down, another one has been slowly heating up for some time, until what they are doing obtains a lot of attention.
The player who has been flying under the radar, and is ready to receive this type of attention is none other than, Dustin Pedroia.
The Red Sox 2016 season so far has been full of headlines:
David Ortiz is putting together one of his best seasons ever. He leads the MLB with 55 RBIs, 26 doubles, 16 home runs, all while having a slash line of .338/.422 /.728. In his final season, at the age of 40, Ortiz has been playing in the limelight.
Then you have Xander Bogaerts who has a .346 batting average that tops the MLB, all while having 84 hits, after hitting in 26 consecutive games safely.
Jackie Bradley Jr. just ended a 29 game hitting streak, which leads the MLB right now, and ranks as the fourth-longest streak in Red Sox franchise history.
Oh, of course, you can’t forget about Mookie Betts, who stole the show last week with five home runs in a short span of seven at-bats. He became the first lead-off hitter in MLB history to have three home runs in one game and was the first lead-off hitter with back-to-back multi-homerun games.
But then, there is Dustin Pedroia….
Flying under the radar, during the first third of the season with multiple headline accomplishments from other players, Pedroia is putting together one of his stronger offensive seasons he has had in years.
He is currently boasting a .313 batting average, which puts him at the third highest in the American League amongst second basemen. He reached base safely in his last 25 starts and has an active hitting streak of 14 games.
Batting second in the lineup, he has been doing what should be considered a standout job, getting on base at a .373 clip. This has allowed him to score 41 times, tied for 11th best in the MLB, which has greatly aided RBI totals for Bogaerts, Ortiz, and Ramirez.
On top of his recent success of getting on base, he has had something to show for his power as well. The 5’9″ second baseman has 7 home runs, 16 doubles, and 1 triple, to go along with 26 RBIs, and an OPS of .853. Pedroia hasn’t had offensive numbers like this since 2011, and it is depicted by the spike of his SLG % that is shown in the Fangraphs chart below.
Pedroia is putting together one of the better seasons he has had in years. At 32 years old, playing in his 11th year, he has had a history with injuries. However, there are virtually no signs of any health issues, and this is clearly showing from how he has been performing.
It has been very exciting so far this season to watch some of the younger guys blossom and turn into some of the league’s better hitters. But it’s just as exciting to see the seasoned vets producing. Even though he has been under the radar, don’t let what Pedroia has done so far this season go unnoticed.