Pedroia proving doubters wrong
October, 24, 2007
BOSTON -- We have before us the two rookies of the year. On the one hand, there is Troy Tulowitzki, built like Cal Ripken or even a young Troy Glaus, 6-foot-3, with 23-home run power, a gun for an arm and underestimated athleticism that got him 130 more chances than any other shortstop in baseball -- such athleticism that two teams that do defensive data claim the difference between Tulowitzki and the second-best defensive shortstop this season was greater than the difference between No. 2 and No. 9. As a rookie, he has assumed the leadership role of the National League's most talented team wth his quiet fire. On the other, there is Pedroia, who is three or four inches shorter than his listed height of 5-9. Where Tulowitski was the seventh selection in the 2005 draft, arguably the best in 20 years, one that included Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Cameron Maybin and Jacoby Ellsbury, Pedroia was the 66th selection the previous year. Many scouts spit on Pedroia's tools and laughed at a 5-5 guy who couldn't run, had an uppercut swing and, well, just produced.