Dan is nothing if not repetitive. He finds a joke or reference and beats it into the ground. He finds something he doesn't like and continually harps on it. Since the beginning of the new year, Dan has laid down a steady beat questioning Dustin Pedroia.
To start off, a brief statistical background of Pedroia.
Some of the highlights:
He will be only 23 this season;
His career minor league numbers are .308/.392/.454
In his minor league career, he has 121 XBH, 125 BB, and only 77 K.
A sampling of what people say about him:
John Sickels rates him the #7 Red Sox prospect and gives him a B;
SoxProspects.com rates him the #4 Sox Prospect and gives him a B;
Baseball America rates him the #6 Red Sox Prospect;
si.com rates him the #68 Prospect in MLB.
A couple of notes from scouts:
Ken Rosenthal writes that "some scouts believe he simply can't play."
Nick Cafardo relays one scout's advice for Pedroia to spray the ball and work on his footwork.
A few statistical projections:
ZiPS - .274/.347/.394
Marcel Projections - .257/.328/.414
Chone Projections - .283/.356/.416
(all three projections can be found at fangraphs.com)
Those are the statistics and what some people who follow the minors very closely have to say.
Here is what Dan has been saying:
At the beginning of November, Pedroia is Dan's second picked up piece:
"Why do I get the feeling that Dustin Pedroia, through no fault of his own, is destined to become the line in the sand in Fort Myers next spring? Theo Epstein and the minions love the little guy. Longtime scouts, people who wear baseball uniforms, and most fans are not convinced. This will be interesting."
He continues the Theo v. scouts theme a month later:
"...Theo/minion Poster Boys, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis..."
In a February boston.com chat:
"still not sold on pedroia at 2b". . . "obviously they didn't want to pay loretta. org loves pedroia. lot of questions about him, though"
In this February column, Dan includes Pedroia in a list of things we will talk about, but shouldn't take too seriously:
"We'll question Dustin Pedroia's ability to get the job done at second base"
In a column towards the end of March, Dan includes Pedroia in a list of questions in the lineup:Then there's Dustin Pedroia. Any chance the kid is in over his head? (Did you notice the clever short joke?)
In the Page One, Opening Day column, Dan offers this bit of insight on the upcoming season, "Dustin Pedroia is a suspect/prospect" We are still waiting for an explanation as to why this particular prospect is suspect.
After Opening Day, Dan writes a sidebar on Pedroia's day. He is short and he "is a poster boy for Theo Epstein and his crew of baseball stat men, and there is organizational split on Pedroia's ability to make an impact."
Mark "They didn't want to pay" Loretta hit .285/.345/.361 last season. (All three are below his career numbers and at or near his full season lows.)
Your thoughts and mine in the comments section throughout the season as Dan keeps the beat steady.
Edit - 3/28/07
Edit - 4/2/07
Edit - 4/3/07