Ever since his MVP campaign in 2007, A-Rod has experienced drop-offs in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage and OPS.Is this really a shock? Let's review - in 2007, A-Rod had 54 homers, 156 RBI, a .314 BA, a .645 slugging percentage, and a 1.067 OPS. How good a year was that? It wasn't just the best year of Rodriguez's career, it was one of the best years of anybody in the modern era, and it was the greatest Yankee season since the days of Mantle and Maris. What would really be surprising is if Rodriguez didn't decline after a year like that!
Another so-called damning point Klapisch attempts to make is this one:
It’s not just the HRs that have suffered, however. Rodriguez’ slugging percentage is at a 13-year low (.497).
Well, of course his slugging percentage is lower, if his home run rate is lower (he only has six so far this year.)
But the point Klapisch is trying to make doesn't hold up under closer scrutiny. With roughly a quarter of the season over, Rodriguez has 10 doubles and two triples, which actually puts him on pace to well surpass his career average of 33 doubles and two triples.
To further put those numbers in perspective, in A-Rod's 2005 MVP season, he had 29 doubles and one triple. And in his 2007 MVP season, he had 31 doubles, and zero triples.
Besides, he's hitting .291, with a .375 OBP. Those numbers are below his career averages, but not drastically (his career averages are .305 and .389).
And finally, it's been a strange year for homers so far. As Squawker Jon noted, the MLB leaders in home runs this season are Jose Bautista, Paul Konerko, and Ty Wigginton. A-Rod is currently ranked #62 in homers for the year, which is a surprise. But what's also surprising is that a lot of sluggers are also ranked low in homer numbers this season. Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols are tied for No. 35, with eight homers. And Prince Fielder (No. 47) only has seven. Are they also in career trouble as well?
If A-Rod is at, say, only eight homers or something by the All-Star Break, and his batting average drops, I'll start to worry a little, but right now I'm not too worried just yet.
What do you think? Tell us about it!