As with a number of batters in the Yankees lineup, Alex Rodriguez didn’t get off to the best start. His numbers weren’t awful, but the power numbers weren’t there and for a guy who has seen his slugging percentage decline each year since 2007 it wasn’t a good sign.
Despite that decline though, the numbers A-Rod was putting up early were beyond any sign of a decline. It was early, too early to read too much into the numbers. After all, MVP’s aren’t picked in May for a reason. Still, it didn’t stop the mainstream media from writing his obituary.
The most damning articles against A-Rod came out while the Yankees were on the road in Kansas City. The funny thing about that series though – that’s when he came back to life.
Since that series A-Rod has been on fire, hitting .327/.382/.592/.974 with four homers. It in itself is not enough to say he’s back to MVP form, but it is probably enough to say that he isn’t done yet. Which, with six years left on his contract, we’d better hope isn’t the case.
A-Rod needs to sustain this pace though. An important step toward doing that would be to regain the patience at the plate that he seems to have lost. Even while he’s tearing the balls apart, he isn’t walking anymore. Over the past 12 games he has 15 strikeouts and just two walks.
That may come though especially if he can maintain power at this clip then pitchers will begin to respect him more and start keeping balls away from the plate and it will lead to more walks. The important thing for him will be to avoid chasing pitches and undermining himself power-wise.
If he can maintain the power it may lead to him regaining his patience at the plate. If he can do that, he’ll be back to the A-Rod of old.