Photo: Andrew Theodorakis-New York Daily News
Photo: Andrew Theodorakis-New York Daily News

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In a down year for the American League East, the Yankees are surprising many. Preseason predictions weren’t kind to the franchise, and most analysts put them near the bottom of the division. In a year that was considered to be a rebuilding season, the team is in first place within its division. Unexpectedly, much of the year has seen the Yankees competing for a playoff spot and potentially the division title to boot.

 

Alex Rodriguez has played a major role in the early season success of the Yankees. Coming back from his suspension for PED usage, and the immense level of drama surrounding his situation, no one knew what to expect. Another year older, he was far removed from his prime years and dangerously close to the unfathomable age of 40. Entering the season, A-Rod received more vitriol and loathing than could ever be imagined. Fans, even people within the Yankees organization, justly jumped on the hate parade. Even so, Rodriguez is having his best season in years.

On pace for more than 30 home runs, 80+ RBI, and his best batting average in six years, A-Rod is exceeding even the most generous preseason predictions. Is it possible his year away from the game actually helped his production? Maybe it helped him get fully healthy, or perhaps he simply had more time to perfect his craft.

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In any event, Rodriguez is amongst the team’s leaders in many of the Yankees offensive categories. He ranks no worse than third in batting average, home runs, RBI, XBH and even runs scored. Obviously, whether people want to admit it or not, A-Rod has been a key contributor when it comes to the Yankees’ early season success. As a matter of fact, he could be their best all around player. Surely, no one saw that coming before the beginning of this season.

Pos Name Age G AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BA OBP
C Brian McCann* 31 40 146 22 37 6 8 32 0 .253 .319
1B Mark Teixeira# 35 46 155 24 37 9 14 35 0 .239 .360
2B Stephen Drew* 32 45 152 11 24 7 5 15 0 .158 .226
SS Didi Gregorius* 25 43 138 13 29 5 2 11 3 .210 .276
3B Chase Headley# 31 48 175 20 43 7 6 22 0 .246 .302
LF Brett Gardner* 31 44 159 31 46 10 4 21 12 .289 .369
CF Jacoby Ellsbury* (15-day dl) 31 37 148 29 48 4 1 6 14 .324 .412
RF Carlos Beltran# 38 41 155 13 37 12 3 18 0 .239 .268
DH Alex Rodriguez 39 46 159 28 44 9 11 27 0 .277 .369
OF Chris Young 31 44 112 14 25 7 6 13 0 .223 .281
UT Garrett Jones* 34 24 55 4 13 1 1 4 0 .236 .276
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/31/2015.

What are your thoughts on A-Rod? Did the year off last season help him out? Leave your comments in the section below.

Landin Murphy covers Major League Baseball for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @Landinfitness.

Landin MurphyAnalysisMLB#A-Rod,#AlexRodriguez,#MLB,#Yankees,BaseballGet Great Tickets at Ticket Monster! In a down year for the American League East, the Yankees are surprising many. Preseason predictions weren’t kind to the franchise, and most analysts put them near the bottom of the division. In a year that was considered to be a rebuilding season, the...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?