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Dustin Pedroia: What Can We Expect In 2008

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What is 2007 ROY Dustin Pedroia worth? To get an idea, I looked at the players who produced similarly in HR and SB last year. For this purposes I included just middle infield qualifiers who had between 5 and 10 HRs and SBs.

Here are the comparables in 2007.

1. Placido Polanco, Detroit Tigers
2. Yuniesky Betancourt, Seattle Mariners
3. Howie Kendrick, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
4. Maicer Izturis, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
5. Yunel Escobar, Atlanta Braves
6. Chris Burke, Arizona Diamondbacks

In one league only formats, Pedroia's compadres are single-digit salaried players. In mixed leagues, either the comps are final-rounds-of-the-draft selections or permanent free agent residents.

Given we are trying to predict next season's efforts based on last season's work, I decided to go back to 2005 and 2006, run the same screens and look at those players and their follow-up seasons through 2007.

In 2005, there were 11 players who had HR and SB totals between 4 and 10. Of those, just Edgar Renteria improved those figures into double digits in the following seasons. Just two other players, Marlon Anderson and Jack Wilson, got either category into double digits in either following year.

  2005         2006         2007        
Player HR SB RBI R AVG HR SB RBI R AVG HR SB RBI R AVG
Anderson Marlon 7 6 19 31 0.264 12 4 38 43 0.297 3 4 27 17 0.295
Gonzalez Alex 5 5 45 45 0.264 9 1 50 48 0.255 16 0 55 55 0.272
Graffanino Tony 7 7 38 68 0.309 7 5 59 68 0.274 9 0 30 34 0.238
Grudzielanek Mark 8 8 59 64 0.294 7 3 52 85 0.297 6 1 51 70 0.302
Infante Omar 9 8 43 36 0.222 4 3 25 35 0.277 2 4 17 24 0.271
Mackowiak Rob 9 8 58 57 0.272 5 5 23 31 0.29 6 4 38 40 0.264
Perez Neifi 9 8 54 59 0.274 2 1 29 31 0.243 1 0 6 5 0.172
Renteria Edgar 8 9 70 100 0.276 14 17 70 100 0.293 12 11 57 87 0.332
Scutaro Marco 9 5 37 48 0.247 5 5 41 52 0.266 7 2 41 49 0.26
Spivey Junior 7 9 24 37 0.232 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wilson Jack 8 7 52 60 0.257 8 4 35 70 0.273 12 2 56 67 0.296

In 2006, there were just seven middle infielders to score HR and SB totals between 4 and 10. Amongst these seven, two players increased either of the stats to double digits - Bobby Crosby stole 10 bases in 2007, and Aaron Hill hit 17 HRs.

  2005         2006         2007        
Player HR SB RBI R AVG HR SB RBI R AVG HR SB RBI R AVG
Barmes Clint 10 6 46 55 0.289 7 5 56 57 0.22 0 0 1 5 0.216
Cedeno Ronny 1 1 6 13 0.3 6 8 41 51 0.245 4 2 13 6 0.203
Crosby Bobby 9 0 38 66 0.276 9 8 40 42 0.229 8 10 31 40 0.226
Everett Adam 11 21 54 58 0.248 6 9 59 52 0.239 2 4 15 18 0.232
Graffanino Tony 7 7 38 68 0.309 7 5 59 68 0.274 9 0 30 34 0.238
Hill Aaron 3 2 40 49 0.274 6 5 50 70 0.291 17 4 78 87 0.291
Scutaro Marco 9 5 37 48 0.247 5 5 41 52 0.266 7 2 41 49 0.26

Recent comparables based solely on position-eligibility and HR and SB screens do not bode well for the future of Dustin Pedroia. Whether those are representative screens, I do not know, but I feel comfortable not gambling on a huge improvement in 2008.