NY Yankees, part 5: Alex Rodriguez

Not much to be said. In the prime of his career, one of the best hitters of all time. Should continue to put up big numbers. What is it about him? well, he has done some pretty cheap stuff on the basepaths, for a superstar; or for any player. That’s one thing, but it matters only for real baseball nuts and for the players. His demeanor, all that, who cares? But his real issue as a player is that he just doesn’t hit good pitching nearly as well as he does bad pitching. That translates into a guy who just isn’t a clutch hitter. He will get his hits in the late innings, but by and large, when facing the ace pitcher (starter or reliever), he is just another guy. It isn’t so much choking, as just the quality of the pitcher. Now, there are hitters who are gonna hit, more or less regardless of who’s pitching. For example, Derek Jeter; and because he adjusts his swing, he is a clutch hitter. Of course, he’s starting to slide, but over his career, Jeter was a much better hitter in those situations than A Rod, and the reason is clear; Jeter knows what he wants to do against superior pitching, and that is go up the middle or to right field. A Rod only goes to right by accident. So against a pitcher with some stuff, who can carve the outside corner, A Rod looks like Alfonso Soriano. A lot like him.

I don’t expect A Rod’s numbers to look as good this year, just because he’s playing on an average team. His runs scored and RBI’s will suffer, and maybe his OBP, if he tries to do too much.

He’s an average third baseman, certainly not able to make up for a decline in Jeter’s range. Why the Yankees let him steal bases I have no idea. He’s gonna be losing a step pretty soon, so that may stop.

Overall, a Hall of Famer if he never played another game. Huge numbers will continue pretty much for another year.

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