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Alex Rodriguez: The Demise Is Real

Ray Guilfoyle argues that the demise of Alex Rodriguez is not overstated. Read on.

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

For those of you who remember the old Saturday Night Live skit between Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin, they performed a Point -Counterpoint skit. Jane would always go first with her Point about a current issue going on at the time. Dan would provide the other side of the argument with the Counterpoint by opening with "Jane you ignorant slut".

Yesterday, Bret opined that the demise of Alex Rodriguez is currently being overstated due to his horrible performance during the playoffs. Bret provided the Point argument . Today, I take the other side of the ARod demise argument and provide the Counterpoint. I promise not to call Bret any names.

Yes, the media does tend to blow playoff performance, or lack thereof, out of proportion since there is very little baseball news to write about. Who wouldn't want to write about ARod being pinch hit for and extrapolate that he doesn't deserve to start in the ALCS? Or that he was picking up chicks in the dugout during game one of the ALCS, AFTER being pinch hit for?

Anyway, I am here today to argue that the demise of Alex Rodriguez had happened long before the 2012 playoffs started. I have written here several times about the big drop in power since his monster 2007 season. That season, ARod hit .314-.422-.645 with 31 doubles, 54 home runs, 143 runs, 156 RBI and 24 stolen bases. Truly monster numbers. But since 2007, his power has steadily dropped. Sure, everyone expected a drop off from the 54 home run season, but in 5 short years, he has gone from the best power hitter in the game to a below average power hitter.

Let's take a look at his power production since 2007:

2007: 54 HRs .330 ISO, .645 SLG

2008: 35 HRs, .271 ISO, .573 SLG

2009: 30 HRs, .245 ISO, .532 SLG

2010: 30 HRs, .236 ISO, .506 SLG

2011: 16 HRs, .185 ISO, .461 SLG

2012: 18 HRs, .158 ISO, .430 SLG

His home run totals have dropped by a two-thirds, his ISO has been cut in half (almost), and his slugging percentage has dropped by over 200 points. Bret wrote the following in his article yesterday:

Here were A-Rod's stats both before and after July 24, 2012 (the day he was hit on the hand by a Felix Hernandez pitch):

Before - .276/.358/.449 with 15 HR, 44 RBI, 54 R, 11 SB (in 12 chances) and a 21.0% K rate in 400 PA

After - .261/.341/.369 with 3 HR, 13 RBI, 20 R, 2 SB (in 2 chances) and a 24.7% K rate in 129 PA

The stats bare out the point Bret was making regarding Rodriguez's hand injury, as the injury impacted his hitting, and power, once he returned from the DL. But one thing I see is this: the stats through July 24th show that he only had 15 home runs through almost four months of the season. That's less than four per month.

Rodriguez's .158 ISO is easily the worst of his career. But, the company he has in that .158 range is even more telling:

Coco Crisp: .158 ISO
Shin-Soo Choo: .159 ISO
Carlos Pena: .157 ISO
Danny Espinosa: .155 ISO

Over his last three seasons, Rodriguez has hit just 64 home runs, scored 215 runs and drove in 244 runs with a .195 ISO. Over the same period, Vernon Wells, another hitter with one of the worst contracts, has hit 67 home runs, scored 175 runs, driven in 183 runs, with a .212 ISO. Yes, Vernon Wells, has more home runs and a higher ISO over the last three seasons than Rodriguez.

Over the last four seasons, Rodriguez has hit 94 home runs. Over the same period, Mike Napoli has hit 100 home runs, in 250 less at bats. I think I have driven home the point that his power is down, and I don't see it returning. I'd be willing to bet that ARod does not reach Bret's early projection for him in 2013. Age and injuries have caught up to him, and he can't rely on PEDs anymore. The hip injury a few years ago have sapped his power, as power hitters need strong legs to provide their power, and ARod doesn't have the leg strength anymore.

If for some reason he is traded this offseason, highly doubtful, but you never know, his numbers will more than likely come down a bit more. There aren't many better hitters parks in baseball than Yankee Stadium.

(And, as you can see by the picture, ARod appears to have his mind on other things currently.)