July 14, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State All-American shortstop and Golden Spikes Award Finalist Dustin Pedroia has officially signed a professional baseball contract with the Boston Red Sox after being selected in the second round (65th overall) of MLB Draft last month. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"The Sun Devil baseball family is very excited for Dustin and proud of all of his accomplishments," said Sun Devil head coach Pat Murphy. "He is a very special ballplayer and a very special person and he is going to be missed. Everyone around him knows it won't be long before we see him in a big-league uniform."
Pedroia, the first pick by Boston in the 2004 draft, will report to Single-A Augusta in the South Atlantic League, where he joins another former Sun Devil in right-handed pitcher Beau Vaughan. Vaughan was the third-round selection of the Red Sox last year and is 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA in nine games for the Green Jackets.
"Most people, the first name they throw out there is David Eckstein," said Red Sox GM Theo Epstein on draft day, when discussing players similar to Pedroia. "I think Dustin would take that as a compliment, as a guy who plays hard. But I think that's not necessarily accurate. Although David is a great player, Dustin is his own guy. He has a chance to be a plus defensive shortstop. He's got a special bat, great hand-eye coordination, he doesn't strike out, he has the ability to drive the ball, he has tremendous makeup. He plays hard every day. He does little things to help you win."
Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) had a prolific three-year career at ASU, hitting .384 (298-for-777) with 212 runs, 71 doubles, 14 homers and 146 RBI. He hit .393 (96-for-244) with 24 doubles, nine home runs and 49 RBI. He ended his ASU career ranked seventh in batting average, third in doubles, fourth in hits, sixth in run scored and seventh in at-bats. He earned first-team All-America honors this season from USA Today/Sports Weekly, Baseball America and the NCBWA. He also picked up second-team honors from Collegiate Baseball and became only the fourth player in ASU history to earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors in three straight years. He was also an iron man, playing all 185 Sun Devil games in his three years.
"Dustin is a tough, smart ballplayer who will fit nicely into the Red Sox organization," said David Chadd, director of amateur scouting for the Sox. "He is an accomplished middle infielder with an equally solid approach at the plate. We all admire his work ethic and ability to be a leader."
**Ian Browne of RedSox.com contributed to this press release**