Someone asked David Ortiz about Alex Rodriguez’s unexpectedly excellent 2015 season. His response seemed pretty passive-aggressive, no?
“It is what it is,” Ortiz said before the Yankees blew out the Red Sox, 13-3, Tuesday night at the Stadium. “The guy is playing the right way now — as far as we know. He’s having a good season and doing the right thing. I guess that deserves credit . . . He’s having a good season,” Ortiz said. “Me, personally, I thought having a year off and getting older was something that would affect you, but he looks good to me.”
Of course Ortiz has some reason to be less than effusive in his praise for A-Rod given their little beef, borne of Ortiz’s displeasure at A-Rod’s lawyer dropping Ortiz’s name during the Biogenesis stuff.
I am amused by the way Ortiz put this — cattiness is always fun — but it’s not like Ortiz is wrong here, at least if he’s not being super sarcastic. Every player is clean “as far as we know.” And they are until they’re shown not to be. It’s when we get into the guessing games and baseless accusations that we run into trouble.
Carlos Correa is living up to the hype.
Called up on June 8–almost exactly three years after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Astros out of high school–the 20-year-old shortstop has played at an MVP level for two months despite being the youngest position player in the entire American League.
Correa homered Monday night for the fourth time in four games, giving him a total of 13 homers in 48 career games along with a .297 batting average, 14 doubles, 14 walks, five steals, and a .917 OPS. And he’s looked good defensively, too.
Here are the top OPS totals by shortstops this season:
CARLOS CORREA .917
Troy Tulowitzki .835
Brandon Crawford .819
Jhonny Peralta .804
And as impressive as it is to sit atop that list, it probably short-changes just how rare it is for a shortstop to be hitting this well while being this young. In the entire history of baseball here are the top OPS totals posted by 20-year-old shortstops with at least 150 plate appearances:
Alex Rodriguez 1.045 1996
CARLOS CORREA .917 2015
Arky Vaughan .787 1932
Jose Reyes .769 2003
Jim Fregosi .761 1962
I’m sure Correa will come back down to earth at some point or at least experience a slump, but for now he’s leading all MLB shortstops in OPS and the only 20-year-old shortstop in MLB history to out-hit him is Alex Rodriguez.
Everyone knew Correa was going to be good–he was a No. 1 pick and a consensus top-five prospect this season and last season–but for him to be this great this soon is a surprise. And really, that’s the story of the entire Astros team that sits atop the AL West at 60-47.
Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez rang in his 40th birthday tonight by doing exactly what he’s been doing for much of the past 20 years: Hitting home runs. Watch him take Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison deep:
Rodriguez is now up to 24 home runs on the season as his remarkable resurgence continues. According to MLB’s official Twitter account, Rodriguez is just the fourth player in MLB history to homer in his teens and in his 40s. Ty Cobb, Rusty Staub, and Gary Sheffield are the only others.