Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All Hail American League MVP Pedroia the Destroia

Boston Globe: Most Valuable: Pedroia

Pedroia was named the American League Most Valuable Player today, becoming the first Red Sox player to earn the honor since Mo Vaughn in 1995. It is the 10th MVP award in club history. Minnesota's Justin Morneau finished second, and Pedroia's teammate, Kevin Youkilis, finished third.

Pedroia, who became just the eighth player in AL history to earn MVP, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger awards in the same season


The 25-year-old Pedroia emerged as a franchise cornerstone and an offensive force in his second full major league season, batting .326 with 17 home runs and 83 RBIs while establishing franchise records for a season by a second baseman in runs, hits, doubles, batting average, total bases, and extra-base hits. He is the first Red Sox second baseman ever to be named MVP and the first AL player at his position to be so honored since Nellie Fox of the White Sox in 1959.


He became the third major league second baseman ever to tally 100 runs, 200 hits, 50 doubles, and 20 steals in a season, joining the Yankees' Alfonso Soriano (2002) and the Astros' Craig Biggio (1998).

After a slow start -- he was batting .260 on June 13 -- the fiery Pedroia was consistently outstanding through the rest of the summer, but his MVP candidacy gained momentum during a late-season stretch when he seemed to singlehandedly carry the Sox.

During a five-game period when Youkilis was briefly sidelined, Pedroia batted cleanup and hit .667 (12 for 18) with four doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs, and six runs scored. He batted .345 with an OPS of .949 in the second half, and in August and September, he batted a combined .353 with a .995 OPS.

Gold Glove awards aren't always the best indicator of good defensive play, but Pedroia truly did have an outstanding year with the glove. He made just six errors at second base, the same number of miscues he committed during his rookie season.

He finished second to Oakland's Mark Ellis in fielding percentage for AL players with at least 100 games at the position. His .992 was barely eclipsed by Ellis's .993, and it stands as the third-best percentage ever by a Red Sox second baseman, behind Mark Loretta (.994 in 2006) and Bobby Doerr (.993 in 1948).


Youkilis finished sixth in the AL in batting (.312), sixth in on-base percentage (.390), third in slugging (.569), and fourth in OPS (.958). He won the Hank Aaron Award as the best offensive performer in the league, but did not win the Silver Slugger award at first base, losing out in a vote of managers and coaches to Morneau.

Pedroia, who made just $457,000 last season, didn't have an MVP bonus provision in his contract. Morneau earned $75,000, while Youkilis got $25,000.

ESPN: Pedroia beats out Morneau to win AL MVP

MLB.com: Pedroia named AL MVP
Teammate Youkilis gets two first-place votes, finishes third

NYTimes: Pedroia Is American League M.V.P.

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