A-Rod’s Productive 2013 Season

When Alex Rodriguez began ramping up his minor-league rehab back in July, it was hard to predict what he would give the Yankees down the stretch. When we had previously seen A-Rod in last year’s playoffs, he looked completely helpless at the plate, barely even able make contact. Now, 9 months older and coming off of major hip surgery, a return to prominence was far from guaranteed. On top the physical question marks, he was of course dealing with off-the-field complications surrounding his entanglement in the biogenesis scandal. Despite all of these detractors, A-Rod’s remarkable track record in the majors made it easy to dream on his potential offensive contributions.

Despite age, injury, and off-field distractions, A-Rod has raked in 2013
Despite age, injury, and off-field distractions, A-Rod has raked in 2013

His arrival was delayed by a couple of weeks thanks to some combination of a quad strain and the Yankees’ desire to avoid the distractions of a publicity circus. Nonetheless, A-Rod ended up appealing his suspension and rejoined the team on August 5th. Since then, he has absolutely raked, hitting .294/.391/.504. In just 33 games, he’s already produced more batting WAR this year than any Yankee not named Robinson Cano. In addition to partying like its 2009 at the plate, Alex has also looked surprisingly adequate in the field and has even shown some zeal on the basepaths, swiping 4 bags 6 attempts. It appears at least, that his hip is working just fine.

Upon his return, A-Rod added some much needed pop to a struggling Yankees lineup. In the months of June and July, the team posted a league-worst 71 wRC+ and an Ichiro-ian .097 ISO. By no means did A-Rod  single handedly save the offense, but without his contributions, its hard to imagine the Yankees having any sort of shot at making the playoffs right now, especially considering what the alternative would have been at the hot corner — likely some combination of David Adams, Eduardo Nunez, or Mark Reynolds moving over from first base.

Rodriguez’s future beyond 2013 is cloudy to say the least. He’s currently appealing a 211 game suspension, which, if implemented next opening day, would put him out of action until midseason 2015. Considering he would be turning 40 and coming off of a 20-month layoff, it’s hard to imagine him having much left in the tank at that point. For now at least, we’ll just have to wait and see how his legal situation plays out over the off-season.

In the meantime, A-Rod probably won’t continue his torrid hitting over the final two weeks of the season, but at the very least, he’s shown that he can still be a productive player when healthy. For what it’s worth,  the rest-of-season projections for Pecota, ZiPS, and Steamer average .261/.346/.412, which would still be better than league average. Whether or not this ends up being his swan song in the Major League Baseball, Alex has been a pleasant surprise this year and its been nice to see the one of the most prolific players of all-time show greatness again; and, hopefully he’s able to keep flashing it just a little bit longer.

(This post was originally written for Pinstriped Bible)

Photo By Keith Allison on Flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

About Chris

Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, and is an occasional user of the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell
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6 Responses to A-Rod’s Productive 2013 Season

  1. oldranger7 says:

    I think from the things I have read, A-Rod may beat the 211 game suspension…or, get it cut down a lot! They are trying to make an example of him but, it has been said; “He should not be given more games than all the others, just because he is A-Rod!”
    What a huge waste of talent…that and cheating p-ss me off the most.

    • Chris says:

      Yeah it’ll be interesting to see how all the legal stuff goes down this winter. Until I hear otherwise though, I’m expecting a substantial suspension and not expecting A-Rod to return anytime soon.

  2. Twasp says:

    Wow…..greatness? Aroid has been surprisingly good. But great…..I don’t think so . Soriano has been great.

    Aroid deserves the extra time in his suspension because he obstructed justice by trying to bribe Biogenetics. He should go to jail. He’s a cheater and a fraud ….that’s why his teammates called him Afraud.

    • Chris says:

      Alex Rodriguez has been a better hitter than Alfonso Soriano has been in his time with the Yankees this year (138 vs. 122 wRC+). A-Rod also plays a more premium position.

    • oldranger7 says:

      Hi Twasp…
      Let’s not go into all that BS again. I think we all got the idea a year or more ago…..you hate A-Rod!
      Ok, we got it!

      Nice to see you over here, let’s keep it positive and optimistic shall we?
      I hope fishjam joins us, he would fit right in.

  3. TWASP says:

    Chris – wRc + ill give you. But Soriano has shown periods of greatness during his streak. Aroids showing has been very good but not great.

    Ken…..TWASP does not hate Aroid …… He is the best all around player I have gotten to see in my lifetime. He adds excitement to the team with his antics.

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