Great stuff from Ed Marks on A-Rod today:
From the time [Alex Rodriguez] broke in as a major leaguer in 1994 through the 2007 season, Rodriguez averaged one home run for every 14.2 at-bats, good enough to make the career top 10 list in that category. But since 2008 he has been merely a good power hitter, not a great one, and the dropoff since the start of last season has been startling.
Since the start of the 2008 season, when [A-Rod's] hip “irregularity” was detected, Rodriguez has been averaging one home run for every 17.1 at-bats. His 1994-to-2007 average translated to 42.3 home runs for a 600 at-bat season; his average since then yields 35.1 home runs per 600 at-bats, a decline of 17 percent. He hit 35 homers in 2008, and 30 in 2009 and 2010. In his first four seasons with the Yankees he averaged 43.3.
And it’s getting worse. Much worse. Last season he averaged one home run for every 23.3 at-bats; so far this year, with a total of five home runs in the Yankees’ first 37 games (two fewer than Raul Ibanez), he is averaging one for every 27.2 at-bats — a rate that would give him 22 homers if he has 600 at-bats this season.
And he ranks only eighth on the team in slugging percentage (.412); even Eric Chavez (.523) and Andruw Jones (.472) are ahead of him.
If you think that sounds ominous, consider this: After this season there are still five more years left on his contract. Five more years. If his current trend continues, Rodriguez might finish that contract as the best-paid player ever to appear in an Old-Timers’ Game.
If A-Rod gets 600 At Bats this season and hits less than 25 HR, playing half his games at Yankee Stadium, then he is, indeed, cooked as a power hitter. But, we have to wait for the season to play out to see what his final numbers will be this year.