In 1967 the Boston Red Sox lived the ‘Impossible Dream’, going from last to first in one season. 40 years later, the Sox made a Possible Dream come true; fielding a solid team and winning the World Series. With many New England sports teams looking good this season, can they all make their "Possible Dreams" come true?

 

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mike Andrews vs. Dustin Pedroia

I suppose the cheapest way to start an article comparing Mike Andrews and Dustin Pedroia would be to point out the 6 inches of difference in height, but because I think more baseball fans are concerned with results and numbers than genetics there’s got to be a better way to compare the two players who manned the right side of the middle infield.

First the obvious, both players were in their first full major league seasons at age 23 after following up an underwhelming September call-up from the previous year. Both started low in the order; Andrews hitting 7th and 8th primarily for the first 40 games before shifting to the top of the order. Pedroia took a little longer, approximatlely 50 games and some platooning with Alex Cora before moving to the two-hole. Andrews got to the top of the order faster because of a .321 start in April and May, whereas Pedroia almost got run out of town with a .182 average.

As the season went on both players gave you exactly what youd expect from the position, lots of slap singles, a low strikeout to walk rate, and sparse power (though Pedroia gets the edge for his ability to hit doubles)

Percentage of hits for singles:
Andrews -78.5% of all hits
Pedroia – 73.5%

Stikeout to Walk Rate:
Andrews - 1.16:1
Pedroia – 0.78 :1

Isolated Power [Slg% - Avg]:
Andrews: .089
Pedroia .116.

As expected from young players, both struggled with power pitchers (pitchers who strike-out or walk more than 28% of batters) as compared to their numbers against finesse pitchers (pitchers who’s rate is lower than 24%)

(rates are AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS)

Power
Andrews: .236/ .302/ .358/ .660
Pedroia: .257/ .339/ .448/ .787

Finesse
Andrews: .317/ .405/ .410/ .815
Pedroia: .375/ .432/ .480/ .912

Defensively Pedroia has better range than Andrews had in 1967 (4.92 vs 4.66) but comparing against other second basemen of their time, Andrews was actually an above average 2b (4.66 vs 4.19 league average) where Pedroia is a tick behind league average (4.92 vs 4.98). I suppose 40 years of nutrition and medical advancement should produce better athletes, but I’d give Andrews the edge defensively as he never had those advantages.

Offensively however as we’ve already started to see, there’s no comparing the two. Pedroia’s average is 61 points higher and ranks 6th in the league. Pedroia’s OPS is 139 points higher (A very respectable .837 vs a typical light hitting second basemen’s .698)

Defenders of the ’67 squad are right to point out that the game was a lot different back then, and that offensive numbers weren’t anything like they are now. However even when we adjust Andrews’ and Pedroia’s numbers to the same team (The 2006 Red Sox – obtained from baseball-reference.com) Pedroia still comes out ahead - and still by a large margin)

Translated stats to 2006 Red Sox
Andrews: .283/ .370/ .380/ .750
Pedroia: .326/ .398/ .442/ .840

I’m sticking with the new Pedro. Hopefully like Andrews he’ll get picked as an All-Star two years from now as well. At this rate it may not even take two years.

Edge: Pedroia (2007)

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