<b>2B -- Boston Red Sox</b><br />
Yes, Pedroia is NOT in the playoffs, although no one could have predicted his absence from the postseason in the middle of September. In fact, Pedroia's inclusion here reflects the historic nature of Boston's collapse.
Getty Images
In his initial batting stance, Pedroia starts off looking rather still and almost passive. But it's merely the calm before the storm because Pedroia has among the most violent swings in baseball. Here, he lifts his front leg and begins to load his bat.
Getty Images
Although Pedroia always looks like he's swinging as hard as he can and praying for contact, there's plenty of discipline in his swing. As his foot comes forward, it is pointed inward along with his knee, and his bat continues its backward movement.
Getty Images
How does Pedroia generate so much power from his 5-foot-8 frame? Look at this picture: His bat is completely loaded, his body is fully torqued and balanced, and he's ready to uncoil as his front foot comes down.
Getty Images
After Pedroia's front foot hits the ground, his weight transfer begins, unleashing his entire body toward the point of contact. He keeps his front side closed as long as possible and the bat head above his hands as they take a direct path to the ball.
Getty Images
This shot is about as good as it gets in terms of capturing a player at the point of contact. Pedroia is in perfect position to make excellent contact and release significant power. You can see the ball about to make contact directly on the barrel.
Getty Images
Pedroia gets full extension out of his swing, practically pointing the bat in the direction of the ball as he seemingly launches it into orbit. He has surprising power for someone his size; his 21 homers in 2011 were a career high.
Getty Images
Pedroia, who finishes high over his back shoulder, doesn't look anything like the prototypical cleanup hitter, but he hit fourth for Boston in 25 games and batted.347 with a 979 OPS.
Getty Images
Pedroia was mentioned as a strong MVP candidate as late as mid-September and finished third in the American League in Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs, behind teammate Jacoby Ellsbury and Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista.
Getty Images
As the Red Sox played their way out of the AL wild-card spot on the final day of the regular season, Pedroia did everything he could to keep his team alive. He hit .462 with a 1.094 OPS over the final six games.
Getty Images

Dustin Pedroia

2B -- Boston Red Sox
Yes, Pedroia is not in the playoffs, although no one could have predicted his absence from the postseason in the middle of September. In fact, Pedroia's inclusion here reflects the historic nature of Boston's collapse.