Dustin Pedroia has been named the American League Most Valuable Player of 2008. Pedroia also won Rookie of the Year last year, and is the third player after Cal Ripken Jr. and Ryan Howard to follow a Rookie of the Year season with an MVP season. The young Pedroia carried the Boston Red Sox all year long in 2008, whether it was by making huge defensive plays or getting clutch hits. Pedroia batted .326 with 17 HR, 83 RBI, and 20 stolen bases. He tied with Ichiro as the league leader in hits, with 213. This is Pedroia’s first career MVP, and he also won his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards this year.
Pedroia winning the MVP defies the history of the award, as it is usually a big power hitter with at least 30 homers. Instead, this year it has been won by one of the smallest players in Major League Baseball, who did a little bit of everything to earn it. He beat out Justin Morneau, who came in 2nd place and batted .300 with 23 HR and 129 RBI, and his own teammate Kevin Youkilis, who came in 3rd place and batted .312 with 29 HR and 115 RBI. This was also only the second time since 2001 that two team mates were in the top 3 in MVP voting; last time it was Ichiro Suzuki and Bret Boone.