Alex Rodriguez, 41, will play in his final game for the New York Yankees Friday and become a special adviser to the team, apparently ending his baseball career.
Alex RodriguezHere are Alex Rodriguez' Box-Toppers statistics. The third column shows his Box-Toppers points (BTP) per season. The final column shows his All-Star Selections, his Box-Toppers key season rankings and his standing in Most Valuable Player Award voting.
|1996||sea al||11.2||AS, BTP-32, BTP-AL bat-9, MVP-2|
|1998||sea al||5.0||AS, MVP-9|
|1999||sea al||13.7||BTP-18, BTP-AL bat-7, MVP-15|
|2000||sea al||17.0||AS, BTP-7, BTP-AL bat-2, MVP-3|
|2001||tex al||12.5||AS, BTP-25, BTP-AL bat-2, MVP-6|
|2002||tex al||15.2||AS, BTP-11, BTP-AL bat-4, MVP-2|
|2003||tex al||6.7||AS, BTP-121, BTP-AL bat-34, MVP-1|
|2004||nyy al||4.5||AS, MVP-14|
|2005||nyy al||11.9||AS, BTP-28, BTP-AL bat-6, MVP-1|
|2006||nyy al||12.5||AS, BTP-27, BTP-AL bat-6, MVP-13|
|2007||nyy al||18.9||AS, BTP-2, BTP-AL bat-1, MVP-1|
|2008||nyy al||11.2||AS, BTP-34, BTP-AL bat-3, MVP-8|
|2010||nyy al||13.7||AS, BTP-23, BTP-AL bat-2, MVP-15|
|2015||nyy al||7.7||BTP-96, BTP-AL bat-16, MVP-28|
AS: All-star selection
BTP: Finish among all players in Box-Toppers points
BTP-AL bat: Finish among all AL batters in BTP
MVP: Finish in league Most Valuable Player Award voting
† Rodriguez was suspended for the 2014 season under baseball's performance enhancing drug policy.
Source: Information for player awards comes from Baseball-Reference.com
Rodriguez is the active leader in career Box-Toppers points with 187.0 (second place is teammate CC Sabathia with 182.0 points). He ranks first among all batters in Box-Toppers points since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began (second place batter Albert Pujols of the Angels has 181.3). Rodriguez also ranks fourth among all players in Box-Toppers points since 1995.
While Rodriguez leads all batters in career Box-Toppers points, he only led his league’s batters in single-season points once—in 2007, he led American League batters with 18.9, which was also one of the three seasons he won AL Most Valuable Player honors (2003 and 2005 were the other years).
But while Rodriguez has impressive numbers in Box-Toppers and across the board in baseball statistics, those numbers are looked at suspiciously today because of his link to performance enhancing drug scandals, resulting in his suspension for the 2014 season. Rodriguez is a member of the Former-Future-Hall-of-Famers Club, players who seemed a lock for induction at Cooperstown, until their connection to PEDs was discovered. Rodriguez is in “good” company in that club, joining the likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro.
Rodriguez has a career that spans the entire history of Box-Toppers tracking. In fact, he is the only active player whose career actually precedes the advent of Box-Toppers.
Rodriguez made his Major League debut July 8, 1994, with the Seattle Mariners and played in 17 games that season. However, in reviewing those games he played today, Rodriguez would not have earned Box-Toppers points in any of those games. The Mariners only won four of those games and Rodriguez would not have earned Player of the Game in any of them.
In fact, Rodriguez did not earn Player of the Game honors during the entire 1995 season, the first year of Box-Toppers tracking—he played in 48 games that season.
So Rodriguez’s Box-Toppers debut on April 15, 1996, was actually the first time in his career he would have earned Player of the Game honors, his 77th career game. That day, in an 11-10 win over the California Angels, Rodriguez was American League Batter of the Day, earning 1.5 total Box-Toppers points (1.0 for being Player of the Game and the 0.5-point bonus for being AL Batter of the Day). Rodriguez hit a two-run homer (the seventh of his career) and went 2-for-4, scoring twice and driving in three runs. He had a Box-Toppers game score of +3.0, tied with teammate Russ Davis, who had a similar line score, but Rodriguez held the tiebreaker because he had a home run, while Davis’ biggest hit was a double.
Rodriguez is the only active player who earned Box-Toppers points in 1996 to be active in 2016. (LaTroy Hawkins was the last active player to have earned points in 1995—he last played for the Blue Jays in 2015.) There is one additional player who earned Box-Toppers points in 1997 who is still active in 2016—David Ortiz of the Red Sox. After Rodriguez and Ortiz, the active players with the next-longest Box-Toppers longevity are Adrian Beltre of the Rangers and Bartolo Colon of the Mets—both made their Box-Toppers debut in 1998.
Rodriguez was suspended the entire 2014 season for violating baseball’s performance enhancing drug policy. Up to that point, he had earned Box-Toppers points in 18 consecutive seasons (1996-2013), tied with four other players for the second-longest streak in Box-Toppers tracking history. Rodriguez has earned Box-Toppers points in 19 different seasons but has yet to earn any in 2016. Should he earn Player of the Game honors this week, which is possible if unlikely, he would earn Box-Toppers points in 20 different seasons, most among all players since Box-Toppers tracking began in 1995. Currently, Rodriguez, David Ortiz and Jason Giambi have each earned Box-Toppers points in 19 different seasons, tied for the most. (Ortiz has already earned points in 2016, his final season. Giambi, now retired, earned his points in 19 straight seasons from 1995 to 2013.)
Rodriguez had his best season in 2007 with 18.9 Box-Toppers points, leading AL batters and finishing second among all players, behind Padres pitcher Jake Peavy (23.4). It is the fifth-highest Box-Toppers point total to be earned in a single season by a batter since 1995. It was one of three seasons in which he had more than 15.0 Box-Toppers points and one of 10 seasons in which he had more than 10.0 points.
Rodriguez finished twice among all players in Box-Toppers’ top 10 list for the season. In 2000, he ranked seventh among all players with 17.0 and in 2007, as mentioned previously, he finished second.
He finished in the top 10 among all American League batters on the season-ending list 10 times, finishing as high as second three times (in 2000 with 17.0 Box-Toppers points, in 2001 with 12.5 and in 2010 with 13.7).
Interestingly, two of his three MVP seasons were far from his best in terms of Box-Toppers points:
- In 2003, Rodriguez was voted MVP though he scored only 6.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 121st among all players and 34th among AL batters. (Carlos Delgado was Box-Toppers’ top AL batter with 17.7; he finished second in AL MVP voting.)
In retrospect, this was one of the most sadly ironic miscarriages of justice in the history of Most Valuable Player Award voting. While Rodriguez had a decent season, he was on a losing Rangers team. Baseball writers at the time said they gave Rodriguez the award because he had come close before—finishing second twice and in the top 10 five times. And besides, they said, in the middle of the steroid crisis in baseball, Rodriguez was a good representative of a “clean” player. Later, he admitted he had taken performance enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003 and even later in 2014, after admitting and regretting his previous PED experience, was suspended for the season for separate PED incidents.
Meanwhile, 33 AL batters ranked ahead of AL MVP Rodriguez in Box-Toppers points in 2003.
- In 2005, Rodriguez was voted MVP though he scored 11.9 Box-Toppers points, ranked 28th among all players and sixth among AL batters. (David Ortiz was Box-Toppers’ top AL batter with 14.7; he finished second in AL MVP voting.)
After his yearlong suspension, Rodriguez’s return to the game was in question, but he responded by playing in 151 games in 2015, hitting 33 home runs, driving in 86, batting .250 and earning 7.7 Box-Toppers points, 16th-most among AL batters. This season, however, he has slumped, playing in only 63 games so far, hitting nine homers, 29 RBIs and batting .203. He’s earned no Box-Toppers points in 2016.
About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.
More from Box-Toppers on Alex Rodriguez:
From Feb. 3, 2015: The 18 best single-season Box-Toppers point totals for batters, 1995-2014
(Halfway down the page is a chart showing that though Rodriguez was named AL MVP in 2003, he finished 34th among AL batters in Box-Toppers points.