Continuing my series, here’s my season in review for Alex Rodriguez.
It’s worth noting, though, that as of now, FanGraphs has taken down its 2010 projections. Luckily, I had the first round of 2010 ZiPS projections book marked, so I’ll be able to see one projection system and what A-Rod did.
2010 ZiPS Projection:
.281/.382/.526, 30 HR, 93 RBI, 141 OPS+ in 128 G
.270/.341/.506, 30 HR, 125 RBI, 123 OPS+ in 137 G
All in all, that’s not a bad season. Hell, a career line like that could get you very far. But, this is Alex Rodriguez we’re talking about; that’s a rather pedestrian season for him. Alex beat his games played projection which was good.
Perhaps the most disappointing part was that Alex had only a .071 IsoD when he was projected for a .101 IsoD (career .084). His walk rate dipped significantly this year, though. That was due to a four percent jump from 2009’s O-Swing% (21.1% in ’09, 25.3% in ’10).
Moving from swing data to contact data, we see a trend of generally weaker contact from Rodriguez in 2010. A-Rod’s line drive percentage plummeted to 13.8% (!!). His mark in 2009 was 20.0 and his career mark is 17.8. This led to a BABIP of just .274 (career .318). If you want to know why Alex didn’t hit for a high average, there’s your answer. Weak contact, low BABIP, “bad” batting average.
His IFFB% was 8.6, which was below his career average of around 10%, so that goes against my weak-contact hypothesis. His fly ball percentage, 40.2, was actually above his career average (40.0), again poking a bit of a hole in my theory. BUT, we need to note his HR/FB%. For his career, Alex has powered 23.1% of his fly balls over the fences and into the people. His previous career low was 19.3% in 2004. This year, it was all the way down at 17.1%
For some reason, Alex Rodriguez was just not getting much power behind his swings. If I were a doctor and/or hitting coach, I’d explain how and why Alex’s hip was sapping his power. But, since I’m just a blogger, I’ll only allow myself to venture a guess that Mr. Rodriguez’s hip was the culprit for his low line drive and HR/FB percentages.
2010 was not horribly kind to Alex. He put up career lows (for full seasons) in just about every category you could think of. In 2011, let’s hope he’s more healthy and can stay in the lineup more often. A healthy A-Rod is a good A-Rod. A good A-Rod is incredibly valuable to the Yankees. I have full faith in him bouncing back. You can only keep that talent down for so long.