March 3, 2003
By Dana Heiss Grodin
USA TODAY Sports Weekly
Arizona State sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia is the total package. Not only can he spray the ball to all fields, he's a defensive whiz with slick hands and quick feet.
The team's most valuable player last year and a Team USA veteran, Pedroia is not your average college baseball athlete. At 5-7, he's one of the shortest.
"Being big has nothing to do with playing baseball," Pedroia says. "You move a lot quicker when you're closer to the ground."
Confident words spoken from a player listed generously at 5-9.
"They make fun of me, too, calling me David Eckstein."
"He's a throwback," Arizona State coach Pat Murphy says. "A remarkable young man. He finds a way to get it done."
Pedroia argues that size doesn't matter, but it sure does when it comes to the substantially tall, such as Notre Dame's 7-1, 230-pound freshman pitcher Ryan Doherty.