2014 was a pretty rough year for Dustin Pedroia no matter which way you look at it. Hampered by a wrist injury all season, he ended up hitting just .278 with 7 HR and 6 SB – all career lows for the former four-time-All Star. He finished the year as only the 16th-best fantasy second baseman according to ESPN’s Player Rater, which is especially disappointing considering that he was a top-five 2B in each of the three seasons prior.
A large part of Pedroia’s struggles, however, actually started before the season even began. He had played with a torn ligament in his thumb throughout the 2013 season and had surgery at the end of the year to correct it. Unfortunately, the post-surgery effects were very limiting and it caused Pedroia to have to alter his offseason routine. He wasn’t able to lift weights or do most upper body workouts, which really sapped his power during the year.
Even worse, his thumb ended up getting re-injured once the season started up, but this time it wasn’t nearly as easy to play through. In an interview with WEEI back in November, Pedroia had the following to say about his injury:
It was just frustrating. The year before, I found a way to perform, playing nicked up. The year before it was a loose feeling – I tore that ligament in my thumb and everything just felt loose, so I was able to figure it out and let the ball travel more and just try to slap balls the other way and get hits and not try to drive the ball. This year it was more, I was restricted. I didn’t have any motion. It was so swollen and tight all year, I couldn’t get a feel of how to get through it. It was tough. I fought it all year.
The injury ended up getting so bad that it caused Pedroia’s season to end early, and he had another surgery on September 11 to get it fixed. However, because he got the procedure done much earlier than the previous year, when he had to wait until after winning the World Series, it healed sooner and he was able to have a relatively normal offseason. Having the surgery earlier really seemed to do the trick, and Pedroia compares the different between this offseason and the last to be “night and day,” adding that:
I’ve got all my strength back. I’m lifting like a maniac. I’m pretty excited. Last year at this time I couldn’t hit yet. It’s obvious a lot different offseason this year than last year. I’m full go. I’ve been throwing, hitting, taking some ground balls. I’m ready to go…I’m done with the rehab. I haven’t missed a beat. I haven’t had my strength like normal for few years. I’m excited.”
While we’ll have to wait and see whether Pedroia’s enthusiasm will reflect itself onto the upcoming season, I remain optimistic that we’ll see a solid bounce-back year from him in 2015.
At A Glance
||HR, RBI, SB
||PA, BB, K, 2B, OBP
||3B, NetSB, SLG
||GB%, FB%, LD%, HR/FB, ISO
Players With Similar Fantasy Projections
- Melky Cabrera
- Daniel Murphy
- Howie Kendrick
2015 Fantasy Baseball Projection
2015 Projection: 651 PA, 83 R, 11 HR, 72 RBI, 10 SB, .284 AVG
Overall Rank: 90 | 2B Rank: 8
Don’t go overboard on draft day, but I feel confident that we are going to see a big season from Dustin Pedroia in 2015.
Overall we project a nice rebound season from Pedroia, although we remain slightly conservative with that prediction. These projections are meant to give you a baseline on what to expect when drafting a player, and while it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him top these numbers, don’t draft him expecting vintage Pedroia back right away.
If you draft him with the following projections in mind and he exceeds them, then great, but if you expect too much and he doesn’t meet those expectations then it leaves you stuck trying to fill the holes in production where he fell short.
That being said, I think the chance of him topping our initial projection is pretty good, and I personally don’t have a problem with reaching a little bit to acquire him in drafts. In our recent reader mock draft we did on Tuesday, Pedroia was taken 74th overall, and that’s right about where I would be comfortable drafting him. Don’t go overboard on draft day, but I feel confident that we are going to see a big season from Dustin Pedroia in 2015.