In a down season, Dustin Pedroia still finished as a Top-5 second baseman according to most player rater systems. As you can see looking at Pedroia’s 2013 stats he is just a solid contributor across the board.
The fact that he’s still a Top-5 second baseman tells us a couple of things things.
- Second base is still thin.
- Pedroia is still a valuable fantasy second baseman — despite injuries and declining HR and steals production.
There is nothing to salivate over with his stats, but much of the same could be said about the other Top 5-second basemen. Granted each of them at least surpassed double-digit home runs, but aside from Robinson Cano name another 20+ HR second baseman. Not so easy, is it? Other than Cano, you had Jedd Gyorko, who didn’t even hit .250, and Dan Uggla, who didn’t even hit .180.
The reality is, that you are going to have to look at other positions to produce home runs for your fantasy team. So take second base for what it is, an across the board solid production position.
The same goes for Pedroia as an individual player — he is just what he is — a solid across the board contributor. The bright side to that is you at least know what you see is what you get, so let’s just see what you have to look forward to.
Dustin Pedroia: Early 2014 Projections
As you can see, not too much is changing from last season, a hopeful bump up in HRs, a little drop elsewhere. Personally I like Pedroia mostly for reasons that do not equate to fantasy baseball value. He is a throwback type player with great defense and nack for clutch plays. Also, he has the most foul mouth of any player in baseball history. I kid you not, this guy probably sings lullabies to his children that contain the F-Bomb. He also is a gritty a player as you will find.
His grittiness allows him to stay on the field which is normally a huge fantasy baseball plus. However, in recent seasons I believe his desire to stay on the field and play through pain has attributed to his decline in HRs and steals. Pedroia plays through injury even at the sake of not being his normal self — that is just part of who he is.
However there are times when I feel like I would rather him take a seat and rest up to be more productive when healthy than to gut it out and just scrap out base hit after base hit. I just wish Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell shared my view.
All in all, situations such as guys like Pedroia playing through injury are completely out of our control as fantasy managers. These situations also make managing around less productive players in our lineups so much harder as we cannot slide them into a DL spot and pick up someone in their absence.
So when drafting Pedroia you have to be fully prepared to gut it out with him. There is also the chance that he stays healthy and plays well all season, and you have yourself the Pedroia of old. Although looking at his stats, Pedroia is at best a 20/25 guy (which he did as recently as 2011). He’s also an increasingly less attractive line-up with the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury and possible loss of Mike Napoli, although the Red Sox have already brought in A.J. Pierzynski and could well make a few more moves.
When it comes down to it, Dustin Pedroia is what he is, which is a very bankable guy to our 2014 projections. Just keep an eye on his health and production throughout the 2014 season.
*Our 2013 projections for Pedroia were good, but we’re not stopping there. We’re partnering with Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball (whose early projections are seen above) to crunch even deeper, so that we might provide the most accurate projections possible for 2014. Look for our full Crackerjack projections in our 2014 Draft Kit coming in February.