In last night's loss to the Mets, I immensely enjoyed seeing an A-Bomb from A-Rod strike the Mets' Home Run Apple (video). It was like seeing a 429-foot hole-in-one.
That shot also reminded me that it was time to follow up on the post last month that examined whether or not A-Rod's HRs to date indicate a player in in a serious decline, as much of the media had been suggesting.
method used was to calculate whether A-Rod's 2012 HRs are commensurate
with a talent level of hitting HRs in 6.2% of one's at-bats. 6.2% is
used because that was A-Rod's HR rate over 2009-2010, when he hit 30 HRs
each year. As that post described, the low HR number through May 21 (5 HRs in 144 ABs) hardly justified the collective fork that the baseball media was sticking in A-Rod's back.
It's been a month since then. A-Rod now has 12 HRs in 254 ABs. 12 HRs is within the expected range of a player with a talent level of hitting a HR in 6.2% of his ABs; statistics suggest such a player, after 253 ABs, is expected to have between 10-22 HRs.
In other words, statistics suggest that one should not give much weight to the media chatter about how A-Rod's 2012 HR numbers reflect a permanent power decline. A-Rod's age and recent health issues are of course legitimate causes for concern. However, the point is that when you read or hear someone concluding that A-Rod's current numbers indicate his days of being a slugger have passed, you should keep the following Biblical quote in mind:
"See you a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him." (Proverbs 29:20)
Note: For reference, I calculated the expected range using the following R formula: qbinom(c(.95, .05), 253, .062).