Since 2004, we’ve been used to incredible power out of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Since 2004, he’s hit 246 home runs and had a slugging percentage of .562. His IsoP has been a massive .262. This year, though, there seems to be a bit of a dearth of power from A-Rod’s bat.
He’s slugging “only” .491 this season. I say “only” because the average AL hitter is slugging .409 and the average third baseman is slugging .425. Still, it’s disappointing to see a SLG below .500 for Alex. That .491 SLG would be the lowest in his career since a .496 mark in 1997 (no, I don’t think he’ll end the season with a .491 SLG, just pointing something out). His IsoP is at .196 which would also match a career low (also 1997).
What’s up with A-Rod that he’s not hitting for the power we’re used to? Simply enough, the batted ball data is showing us that he’s not driving the ball like he normally does.
His line drive percentage is at 18.3%, which is right at his career mark, but his GB% is almost four percentage points higher than his career mark. While we generally want to see players swinging down on the ball for line drives, it seems that Rodriguez is getting “too” on top of the ball and hitting grounders than are turning into outs. As a result of the increase in ground balls, he’s had a decrease in fly balls of over three percent from his career mark.
There’s a lack in fly balls which is obviously leading to a lack in homers. He’s at 12.3% HR/FB now, down eleven (!!) percent from his career standard of 23.3%. His IFFB% is up to 13.8%, also three points above his career norm.
Something, well, let’s be less vague, A-Rod’s incredible talent tells me that he will not keep these rates for the entire season. He’s too strong a hitter to continue not hitting the ball out of the park. When the correction comes for Rodriguez, it is going to be beautiful for the Yankees to see and scary for the other teams to receive.