Alex Rodriguez: New York Yankees Slugger on Pace for 4th MVP
Hampered by constant hip injuries, Rodriguez just didn't seem like the three-time AL MVP and had many thinking he was on the decline.
However when he reported to spring training in February in tip-top shape, it was clear that he was on route to a big year. Six home runs, a .388 batting average and a 1.342 OPS in spring training only confirmed A-Rod's return to greatness.
Carrying in the impressive spring numbers into the regular season was the challenge for Rodriguez, and he has answered the call superbly.
17 games into the season, A-Rod sports a .370 batting average along with five home runs and 16 RBI. He also leads the AL in both slugging (0.826) and OPS (1.309).
While the season is still very early and the numbers are inflated, it is clear from both his approach at the plate and his work in the field that he is back to the great A-Rod we last saw in 2007.
A-Rod's return to form has definitely reached the ears of opposing pitchers, who are walking him more than are are striking him out. The high number of walks combined with the great hitting have Rodriguez with a near .500 on base percentage.
Whether it's cranking the ball out of the park or racking up extra base hits, A-Rod's presence in the middle of the Yankee lineup, alongside fellow All-Stars Mark Teixeria and Robinson Cano, makes them the most explosive offense in the major leagues.
Judging by his current pace, A-Rod seems on track for a 45-plus home run season and is set to prove that a healthy Alex Rodriguez is still the premier player in the major leagues.
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