Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Season in Review: Dustin Pedroia


Preseason Predictions
.294 BA, 16 HR, 87 RBI, 112 R, .854 OPS, 5.5 fWAR, All Star

Actual Stats
.307 BA, 21 HR, 91 RBI, 102 R, .861 OPS, 8.0 fWAR, MVP-9th Place, GG

Coming off of a 2010 season in which he was only able to play in 75 games due to a foot injury, Dustin Pedroia came back in 2011 and stayed healthy all year, playing in 159 games, a career high. Pedroia produced just about as well as he did in his 2008 MVP campaign, too. Pedroia, who turned 28 in August, has improved his walk rate just about every year of his career, this year included. He set a career high walking 11.8% of the time, although he also set a career high with an 11.6% K-rate. These helped lead to a .307/.387/..474 triple-slash line, with his OBP being a career high. Although these numbers were probably helped out a bit by his .325 BABIP, although he had previously posted higher BABIPs twice in his career, so he shouldn't expect too much regression in 2012. Pedroia ended the season with high offensive numbers, namely his .377 wOBA, tied for his second-best of his career behind only his MVP season, and a career-high 134 wRC+. His .167 ISO was tied with the number he put up in 2008, but regressed from the .205 ISO in his injury-shortened 2010. It took a couple of months for the second baseman to get going, though. In the first two months of the season, Pedroia stumbled to a .240 batting average, .354 OBP and just 4 home runs. However, he heated up as the weather did, and never hit under .300 in a month after May. In July, his best month, Pedroia hit .411 with a 1.188 OPS and 8 home runs. Even during the team's dismal September, Pedroia hit .304 with an .827 OPS and 117 wRC+. On top of his offensive prowess Pedroia was also one of the top defensive second baseman, earning a Gold Glove (although Ian Kinsler probably deserved it) and stole a career high 26 bases.

Final Grade:
Dustin Pedroia performed better than I expected before the year. He was one of the stalwarts in the lineup all season, and was one of their best defensive players at a premium, up the middle position. His durability was also huge for this team. Because of all those reasons, I have to give Pedroia an A for the season. 

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