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Shedding light on the Laser Show

Posted by David Sabino  July 25, 2013 09:05 AM

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Pedroia.jpgYesterday the Red Sox and Dustin Pedroia finalized a new contract that will reportedly pay the All-Star second baseman $110-million over the next eight seasons. The soon-to-be-30-year-old will likely spend the rest of his career in Boston’s red, white, and blue allowing him a chance to continue his assault on the Red Sox record book for a long time to come. Midway through his eighth major league season, Pedroia has more hits (1,146) for the Red Sox than Carlton Fisk (1,097) did in 11 seasons, has a higher OPS than Bobby Doerr (.827 to .823), and has reached base more times (1,578) for the Sox than Jerry Remy (1,018) and Babe Ruth (540) combined. He already has the same number of five-hit games as Ted Williams, Wade Boggs and Johnny Damon (three, and only Carl Yastrzemski and Johnny Pesky had four).

At his position Pedroia’s prowess stands out even more. Only Doerr (who played 14 seasons) hit more doubles, more home runs, drove in more runs and amassed more total bases among regular Red Sox second basemen. Doerr and Billy Goodman (who played 11 seasons, primarily at second but also at various other spots) are the only Sox second sackers with more hits, runs scored and times on base. And let’s not forget defense. Pedroia has Boston’s highest career fielding percentage at second base (.991) among those who have played as many as 150 games at the position, and only Mark Loretta (.994) is better when the bar is lowered to include everyone with as many as 100 games there.

But his big new contract isn’t based on history, it’s based on current market value and at second base where it’s hard to find too many players in Pedroia’s class. Only New York’s Robinson Cano, who himself is seeking a big new contract, has consistently been more productive among those who’ve regularly played the position since 2007, Pedroia’s first full big league season. Here’s how he ranks since then.

  • Games: 927 (4th) Leader: Robinson Cano (1,061)
  • Runs: 614 (4th) Leader: Ian Kinsler (640)
  • Hits: 1,129 (2nd) Leader: Cano (1,253)
  • Doubles: 266 (2nd) Leader: Cano (278)
  • Home Runs: 94 (9th) Leader, Dan Uggla (202)
  • Runs Batted In: 460 (5th) Leader: Cano (645)
  • Batting Average: .30530 (1st) Next: Cano (.30524)
  • On-Base Pct.: .373 (2nd) Leader Chase Utley (.381)
  • Slugging Pct.: .460 (4th) Leader: Cano (.508)
  • Stolen Bases 116 (5th) Leader: Kinsler (152)
  • Extra Base Hits: 372 (3rd) Leader: Cano (470)
  • Total Bases: 1,701 (4th) Leader: Cano (2,084)
  • Times on Base: 1,553 (2nd) Leader: Cano (1,600)
  • Runs Created: 600 (2nd) Leader: Cano (657)
  • Multiple Hit Games: 328 (2nd) Leader: Cano (375)
  • Three-hit games: 100 (1st) Next: Cano (91)
  • Fielding Pct.: .992 (3rd) Leader: Placido Polanco (.995)
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Stats Driven is powered by David Sabino, who over the last two decades has been a source of statistical analysis on the pages of Sports Illustrated, New York Times, and Chicago Tribune. David has written about all seven recent Boston-area championships for Sports Illustrated Presents commemorative issues, was the creator of such long time features as SI’s Player Value Ranking, NBA Player Rating and long running fantasy football and baseball columns.

He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrated’s 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.

Now living in Marblehead, he’s focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.

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