He hit with a line of .270/.341/.506 as well as a .363 wOBA. Those were all career lows for A-Rod. His batting eye has also gotten worse. In 2010, his O-Swing% went up from his 20.9% career mark to 25.3%, needless to say, that was still better then the league average. A-Rod's walk rate plummeted last year to 9.9% from 15% in 2009. His ISO has been a problem too: it has been dropping since 2007 and last year, that trend continued. He posted a .236 ISO compared to a .269 career ISO. Now, you could argue and say that A-Rod's ISO in 2006 was .233, but he posted that number at the age of 30. He was still in his prime and could easily recover from that down number (recover indeed! He had a .331 ISO in 2007).
But perhaps A-Rod's biggest sign that he is not what he used to be is his BABIP. His BABIP in 2010 was just .274. That is, by a decent amount, the lowest BABIP of his career. And it was not that he got un-lucky, no, it is because his actual hitting ability is diminishing. To back this up, take a look at his line drive rate. His career line drive rate is 17.8% and in 2009, it was 20%. Yet it dropped to a mere 13.8%. His ground ball rate is also getting worse: career: 42.2%. 2010: 46%. His fly ball to ground ball ratio was .88 in 2010 compared to multiple seasons on a row of somewhere in the .70 range.
|Alex Rodriguez after hitting his 600 career home run on August 4th, 2010, becoming the player ever to do so. He hit it off Blue Jays (now Brewers) starter Shawn Marcum.|
I wish I could say that this is all false and that he is going to bounce back from this year (and 2009 (forget the injury)) and say that he is going to hit 55 homers and have a .330 average and a .470 OBP. Trust me, as a Yankee fan myself, I am EXTREMELY worried that the Yanks are gonna have an old man who can't run or hit the ball like he used to and to a point where his numbers next year should look something like this: .265/.340/.485. He might hit some where around 25 homers and steal probably one base.
Then again, Yankee's hitting coach, Kevin Long, will probably figure out some way to bring A-Rod back a little bit as he did last year with him near the end of the season.
This whole situation makes that 10-year contract that he is signed to look very scary.
(Statistics in courtesy of: fangraphs.com, espn.com and baseball-reference.com)