- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
At the outset of spring training, I would have guessed that Alex Rodriguez would finish this season with fewer than 100 plate appearances, based on his age of 39, his forced time away from the game in 2014, his extensive injury history and how badly he looked against good fastballs at the end of 2013. Through the years, I've heard so many older players talk about how their reflexes disintegrate, and how time forces them to choose between power and contact.
By the end of spring training, when Rodriguez and his bat speed looked better than just about anyone expected, I probably would've amended my estimate to 300 plate appearances, with 10 to 15 homers.
But as with just about everything else involving Rodriguez, he continues to be a mystery: Not only is he hitting better than expected, and not only is he the Yankees' best hitter of the early season, but he has been among the best hitters in the majors.
With two more home runs against Tampa Bay, Alex Rodriguez is off to a terrific start. What's fueling it? Buster Olney examines.