Huh?

Going into the 2012 season, Yankee fans are routinely forgetting about A-Rod when discussing the team’s offensive potential. Sure, Curtis Granderson had a career year in 2011 and Robinson Cano is one of the game’s best hitters, but A-Rod is no slouch, either. After missing 63 games last year with a knee injury, the soon-to-be 37-year-old A-Rod had a knee procedure done in Germany. The same doctor who performed surgery on Kobe Bryant (the NBA’s leading scorer) also worked on A-Rod. While no two bodies are the same, we’ve heard nothing but great things about this German doctor. While the German doctor can’t hit a baseball for A-Rod, this procedure will hopefully help him start driving the ball again. Given A-Rod’s down year in 2011 and successful knee surgery in the off-season, are people undervaluing A-Rod for the first time in his storied career?

AP Photo

While I never like to put too much stock in Spring Training numbers, I can’t help but be excited with what A-Rod has done so far. In just 24 at-bats, A-Rod has hit two mammoth home runs and driven in six runs. A-Rod’s .292/.370/.625 line has many excited. A-Rod also looks much quicker and nimble in the field. 

Bill James projects A-Rod to have 509 plate appearances, 29 HRs, and 98 RBIs. His .277/.373/.497 isn’t too shabby, either. James has A-Rod playing in 134 games which would be a four-year high for the injury plagued slugger. 

Ultimately, Kobe has shown that his knee procedure has led to positive results. Thus far, A-Rod is showing that he can drive the ball and play at a much quicker speed. While others will focus on other Yankee hitters, A-Rod’s bat is one of the Yankees’ biggest assets. In a retooled American League, the Yankees will need A-Rod if they want to win the World Series.