2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 21: Why Boston Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia Should Be Drafted Ahead of Chase Utley
Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.
Before breaking his foot last June, Dustin Pedroia was on pace for a career season: 110 runs, 25 HRs, 85 RBI, 19 steals and a .288 batting average. When recently asked if his foot was fully recovered, Pedroia replied, “Does a bear shit in the woods?”
I guess that means he’s good to go.
Given a full season as Boston’s likely No. 3 hitter behind Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford and in front of Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz, Pedroia is poised for a monster season.
He doesn’t have 30-HR power like fellow second baseman Chase Utley, but in his age 27 season, Pedroia is certainly capable of blasting 20-plus HRs. While Utley’s batting average has dropped dramatically in recent seasons (.332, .292, .282, .275), Pedroia remains equipped to post a .300 average.
Also, Pedroia has displayed month-to-month (if not year-to-year) consistency, while Utley has developed a reputation as a first-half player.
There’ also the age factor. While Pedroia (27) is just entering his prime, Utley is already 32, with his best years likely behind him.
Not many will agree with ranking Pedroia over Utley, but we’re in the business of predicting the future, not holding onto what happened three years ago. Draft Pedroia with confidence
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Image courtesy of: Scott Dunham
Fantasy Baseball Insiders’ 2011 Big Board:
MLB Trades: Fantasy Impact:
- Frank Francisco Traded to the Blue Jays, Who Will Be The Team’s Closer?
- Mike Napoli Traded to the Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact
- Vernon Wells Traded to the Los Angeles Angels: Fantasy Impact
- Adrian Beltre Traded to the Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact
Previous articles from Fantasy Baseball Insiders:
- The Sub-2.50 ERA Curse: Why Five Elite Starting Pitchers May Regress in 2011
- 2010 Batting Average on Balls in Play Leaders: What to Expect in 2011?
- 2011 Closer’s Corner: Papelbon, Cordero & Rivera Are the Only Reliable Options