Pedroia had a breakout season in 2007, taking AL Rookie of the Year honors, and he improved this year, with a .326 batting average, .376 on-base percentage, and 54 doubles while playing an above average second base. He received 16 first place votes, and was in the top four on every ballot except one, which strangely left him off entirely.
The top four finishers all came from the Red Sox and Twins, as Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis finished third, and Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer came in fourth. Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez finished sixth, receiving a single first place vote.
Though it wasn't always pretty, the BBWAA ended up with entirely reasonable selections for each of the eight awards it hands out. Pedroia wasn't head and shoulders above the competition like Albert Pujols, who won the NL MVP on Monday, but he was a deserving candidate. It's very rare to find a second baseman who hits for a high average, draws some walks, steals bases at a high clip (20/21 on the year), and even displays some power.