Dustin Pedroia hit .306 this spring, which doesn’t seem like a big deal for anyone, let alone for a player who’s the reigning American League Most Valuable Player and the cover boy for both a video game and Boston Magazine.
But, hey, maybe it is. Pedroia spoke for his teammates yesterday when he said, “I think everyone is ready to get out of here.” It was a long spring thanks to the World Baseball Classic. But, Pedroia intimated, it may actually be a boon for him, tedium notwithstanding.
Pedroia, for all his accomplishments, is an admitted slow starter, and he feels the longer spring training will allow him to avoid that this season. He started last season 4 for 20 (but was still batting .306 by the end of April; he’s got pretty high standards). Pedroia memorably began 2007 in a 10-for-58 (.172) slump, then rebounded to hit .335 the rest of the way and win Rookie of the Year.
In spring training last year, Pedroia hit .152 in 46 at bats. This year, not including his 2 for 16 performance at the World Baseball Classic, Pedroia batted the aforementioned .306.
This year, “I feel a lot better,” Pedroia said. “I’m seeing the ball better. My last couple years, I was kind of nervous going into the season. This year, I saw the ball a lot better and hit the ball a lot better. So hopefully it carries over and I’ll swing the bat from the start all the way to the finish.”
A reporter informed Pedroia, constantly cocksure, that it seemed strange to hear him admit he was nervous at the plate.
“Yeah,” Pedroia said. “I didn’t let you know, though.”