Friday, October 26, 2012
2012 In Review - Alex Rodriguez
As the Yankees went down in flames in the ALCS, the story was Alex Rodriguez. Even though there was plenty of blame to go around to just about everyone in the lineup, it found its way to him like it usually does.
Rodriguez had far and away the worst full year of his career whether you measure it by accrued value or on a rate basis. Here is how he performed compared to his projections this season.
|2012 League Avg||529||476||62||122||23||2||15||59||9||3||42||102||11||4||.255||.320||.411||.311||61||75|
The second set of projections, league average and 2011 stats are pro-rated to 2012 PA to allow a direct comparison. League average is not adjusted for DNYS so mentally account for that.
When you pro-rate his projections to his actual 2012 PA you can see a big dropoff in his power. He hit 12 fewer extra-base hits, trading them for 13 singles. He also lost some walks and ended up being about 7 runs worse than projected on a rate basis. The one thing that should be noted is his average projection was for 495 PA this year so he actually managed to get 34 more PA than expected. He just stunk in them. If not for his broken hand he may have ended up with another 100 PA.
It got even worse in the postseason as hit .120/.185/.120 in 27 PA. According to RE24 he was the biggest detriment to the Yankees in the postseason. He was also pinch-hit for in a meaningful situation for the first time ever in the ALDS and then got benched for the bulk of the ALCS. Brian Cashman explained it as being due to Rodriguez’s splits vs. RHP, particularly his 0 for 18 with 12 K in the postseason at one point. While that’s a small sample size, it was bad enough that I didn’t have a huge problem with him being held out of the lineup vs. RHP. Whether it’s a long-term issue that limits his utility going forward is something we just don’t know now, and probably won’t know for a while. My guess is that with some adjustments it won’t be as much of an issue.
I admit I still had a smidgen of hope we’d see a MVP-candidate type of season out of Rodriguez this year but I now see no way that will ever happen again. He’s still an asset, even if he’s hugely overpaid. Because of that, I’m guessing he’ll be the starting 3B in 2013. It’s hard to envision a scenario where the Yankees can trade Rodriguez and save money while adding enough value that it makes them better. So let’s hope he can make whatever tweaks he has to make that benching him in the postseason is not an option next year.