11/13/08 5:45 PM EST
Pedroia wins Silver Slugger Award
Red Sox second baseman adds another trophy to his collection
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
A year ago, Pedroia was the American League's Rookie of the Year. Last week, Pedroia won the Gold Glove Award for the first time.
He is a top candidate for the AL Most Valuable Player Award, which will be announced on Tuesday.
2008 Silver Sluggers
|C||Joe Mauer, MIN|
|1B||Justin Morneau, MIN|
|2B||Dustin Pedroia, BOS|
|3B||Alex Rodriguez, NYY|
|SS||Derek Jeter, NYY|
|OF||Josh Hamilton, TEX|
|OF||Carlos Quentin, CWS|
|OF||Grady Sizemore, CLE|
|DH||Aubrey Huff, BAL|
|C||Brian McCann, ATL|
|1B||Albert Pujols, STL|
|2B||Chase Utley, PHI|
|3B||David Wright, NYM|
|SS||Hanley Ramirez, FLA|
|OF||Ryan Braun, MIL|
|OF||Matt Holliday, COL|
|OF||Ryan Ludwick, STL|
|P||Carlos Zambrano, CHC|
Pedroia became just the fourth Red Sox player to win Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards in the same season, joining Jason Varitek (2005), Ellis Burks (1990) and Dwight Evans (1981).
The Red Sox have had a representative on the AL Silver Slugger team in each of the past eight seasons. Only the Yankees (every year since 2000) have a longer active streak.
Another strong Silver Slugger candidate for the Red Sox was Kevin Youkilis, but he fell short at first base to Justin Morneau of the Twins. Sox designated hitter David Ortiz's four-year reign as a Silver Slugger Award winner was ended by Aubrey Huff of the Orioles.
The Silver Slugger Award winners were determined by a vote of Major League Baseball coaches and managers who vote for the players they felt were the best offensive producers at each position in both the American and National Leagues in 2008. Selections are based on a combination of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, as well as the coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value. Managers and coaches were not allowed to vote for players on their own team.
The specially designed Silver Slugger will be presented to each player by a representative of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., makers of Louisville Slugger, the official bat of Major League Baseball, in a ceremony early in the 2009 season. The trophy is three feet tall and bears the engraved name of the winner and his Silver Slugger teammates in his respective league. The Silver Slugger Award was instituted by H&B in 1980.
Joining Pedroia, Huff and Morneau on the AL squad were catcher Joe Mauer (Twins), shortstop Derek Jeter (Yankees), third baseman Alex Rodriguez (Yankees), outfielders Josh Hamilton (Rangers), Carlos Quentin (White Sox) and Grady Sizemore (Indians).
In a season the Red Sox had numerous obstacles from a health standpoint, not to mention the trade of future Hall of Fame slugger Manny Ramirez, Pedroia was a steady force all year.
Boston's sparkplug, the diminutive right-handed hitter, tied Ichiro Suzuki for the AL lead in hits (213) and finished second to Mauer with a .326 batting average. Pedroia's 118 runs and 54 doubles led the league.
Pedroia also added power and speed to the mix this season, belting 18 homers and stealing 20 bases.
"The guy carried this team for, I would say, since Day 1 all the way to the end," Ortiz recently said of Pedroia.
Pedroia was the third Major League second basemen to compile 100 runs, 200 hits, 50 doubles and 20 steals in a season, joining Alfonso Soriano (2002) and Craig Biggio (1998).
Pedroia also set single-season Red Sox records by a second baseman for runs, hits, doubles, batting average, total bases and extra-base hits.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.