by Mark McDermott/BaseballSacramento.com
Born: August 17, 1983
High School: Woodland
Position: Second Base
Drafted: 2nd round 2004 Boston Red Sox
Debut: August 22, 2006
Teams: Boston Red Sox 2006-2010
No one could predict what was ahead.
Especially, after the scrappy Boston Red Sox second baseman hit an anemic .191 in 89 at-bats in
his first experience in the major leagues in 2006.
Over the next four seasons, Dustin
Pedroia was named the American League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year, was named an
All-Star three times and was a recipient of a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove
As successful and decorated as Pedroia
had been in four-and-a-half seasons, the Red Sox envisioned even better years ahead. So, it came
as no surprise that at the conclusion of the 2008 season, which he was named the MVP, hit .326,
led the league in runs scored with 118, hits with 213 and doubles with 54 and added 17 home
runs, 83 runs batted in and 20 stolen bases, the Red Sox worked quickly to sign their young
superstar to a new six-year $40.5 million deal.
Pedroia enjoyed continued success in 2009 with another
solid season, hitting .296 with 15 home runs, 72 RBI and 20 steals and leading the league in
runs scored with 115.
Pedroia, who was still four years away
from free agency when he signed, is being paid an average of $7.35 million a year, a steal at
the price clubs are paying ballplayers these days. The Red Sox were thrilled because they also
held a cheap $11 million option for 2015.
However, the 2010 season tempered the
Red Sox enthusiasm. Pedroia was off to a fast start. But on June 25, he sustained a broken
navicular bone in his left foot during an interleague game in San Francisco, placing his career
He tried to return in late-August, but
even his mental toughness, supreme confidence and a bottle of painkillers wasn’t enough to keep
him on the diamond. After two games, he was back on the disabled list and never played another
game the rest of the season.
Then last September, doctors inserted a
screw into his foot to help the healing process.
Pedroia has reported his foot feels good
and he expects to report to spring training with the pitchers and catchers. Still, the Red Sox
have to be concerned. Many all-star-caliber players who have sustained injuries of this
magnitude failed to return to all-star form. Remember Dizzy
Pedroia admits he pushed himself too
hard when he returned in August and didn’t let the Red Sox organization know how much pain he
was truly feeling. He says he won’t make that mistake again.
At a charity golf tournament in Cap
Cana, Dominican Republic this past December for the David Ortiz Children Fund Golf Tournament,
Pedroia said, “I have to watch it. If I get tired, I’ve got to be smart and go sit down. That’s
the thing with this injury, the pounding on it. I’ve got to pick and choose some of the stuff I
do, and if I’m feeling sore that day, take fewer ground balls and be ready for the
Pedroia will wear a special cleat with
protective padding around the bone for at least three or four months at the start of the season.
He will also use a shin guard when he’s batting.
His future and future greatness, is now
in the hands of time.
Career Statistics -- Dustin