The One Who Got Away: Dustin Pedroia
Being ignored by the major prospect lists in 2007 was surely not the first time the 5'9" Pedroia had been overlooked. Pedroia, a second-round pick in 2004, had been ranked at No. 77 by BA in 2006 and made his major league debut that August, but his .191/.258/.303 line in 98 PA hardly suggested the stardom to come. Although he retained his rookie eligibility for the 2007 season, neither BA nor BP included him on their preseason lists. All he did that year was hit .317/.380/.442 with 3.9 WAR en route to AL Rookie of the Year honors and a hand in the Red Sox' second world championship of the decade. He followed it up by winning the AL MVP award the next year. His 51.9 WAR to date is sixth among all position players in that span, and if he can continue building on last year’s 5.7 WAR campaign, the 33-year-old second baseman might play his way into Hall of Fame consideration.
He should probably rank second behind only Kershaw on this list of the best prospects of 2007, but his absence in the original Top 100 underscores the inexact science of such rankings and goes to show that great players aren’t always the most highly regarded at the outset of their careers.