The Boston Red Sox are going to miss David Ortiz’ bat in a big way, but not just his bat. Having been a constant for the Red Sox since his arrival in 2003, Ortiz was also a tremendous presence in the clubhouse as well and everybody knows that Big Papi was the de facto captain of the team. Boston will especially miss his leadership seeing as they boasted one of the youngest squads in the MLB in 2016, with an average age of 28.8. Many Red Sox players have spoken of how much Ortiz will be missed both on the field and in the dressing room. The Sox will look for leadership from many sources this season, but it starts with one man, Dustin Pedroia.
Now the longest tenured member of the club, 2017 will be Dustin Pedroia’s tenth full season with the team, and it is now his job take over and be a leader for the team’s many young talents. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Eduardo Rodriguez are all under the age of 25 and have largely been mentored by Ortiz, Pedroia will pick up where his friend left off.
Now 33, Pedey is a battle tested veteran who too has been a stalwart for the Sox through the best and worst of times. The four time Gold Glover at second won world championships in 2007 and 2013 and also stuck it out through the team’s tumult in the early 2010s that saw a massive rebuild.
While John Farrell said in 2015 that the title of captain means nothing to Pedroia, he still fills that role for Boston.
“Pedey has been a leader for a number of years already,” the Red Sox Manager said to Ian Browne. “That won’t change.”