Dustin Pedroia shocked a lot of people last season. He was just a little guy with a big swing having a great season. Then he batted .283 in the post-season with a couple of homers and 10 RBI in 14 games. Then he won Rookie of the Year. And, as the song says, everybody knew his name.

This year, there is no sophomore slump for the Elf. He is second in the AL in batting average at .320, has stolen 12 bases, scored 92 runs, and has committed just five errors. In 122 games, Pedroia has failed to reach base just 19 times. 2007 was no hoax. Looking back, we should have seen this coming.

The Arizona State web site has the full list of Pedroia’s accomplishments going back to his high school days. It is a very, very long list. A few highlights:

Arizona State All-American shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) is one of only five finalists for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award and became only the fourth player in ASU history to earn three consecutive First-Team All-Pac-10 awards. Pedroia finished second in the Pac-10 hitting .393 (96-for-244) with 24 doubles, 78 runs scored, nine home runs and 49 RBI. He also had a .502 on-base percentage and a .611 slugging percentage. He led ASU with 30 multi-hit games and hit safely in 48 of ASU’s 59 games in 2004. He ended his career with 98 multi-hit games and hit safely in 155 of 185 career games. Pedroia put together an unbelievable “Ironman” streak by starting in all 185 games of his ASU career and ranks seventh with a .384 career batting average. He fell just two hits shy of reaching 300 for his career, but still ranks fourth with 298 career hits and third with 71 doubles.

But this is my favorite:

…describes his best individual athletic performance as a game at the National High School Classic where he was 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and recorded three RBI in a 4-3 win… he also stole home to win the game

Stole home to win the game? What level of ballsiness does that take? Nothing this guy does in the future will surprise me. I fully expect game-winning hits, game-saving defensive plays, and for Pedroia to hang A-Rod off the backstop by his underwear the next time we play the Yankees.

Thoughts and prayers go to Captain Carl. Get well.

See you at 7:05 for win number 73.