How Dustin Pedroia made a career out of rising above his scouting report

  • Covers MLB for ESPN.com
  • Former deputy editor of Page 2
  • Been with ESPN.com since 1995

Any undersized kid who is too short to play basketball or not big enough or fast enough to play football should read the scouting reports on Dustin Pedroia when he was at Arizona State. One White Sox scout gave him present and future grades of 20 on his power, 30 on his speed and 40 on his arm. On the 20-to-80 scouting scale, that’s one tool projected as non-professional grade; another tool projected as “organizational level,” meaning the type of player who fills a minor league roster; and one tool projected as below major league average.

Three years after that report, after the Boston Red Sox selected him in the second round of the 2004 draft, Pedroia won the American League Rookie of the Year and helped the Red Sox win the World Series. The year after that he won the AL MVP award. Through age 29, before all the injuries set in, he was on a Hall of Fame trajectory.

Not bad for a player that scout said the White Sox should pass on since he “does not fit as a utility guy.”

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