TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Sabino High School grad J.J. Hardy is hoping his back is back.
Ailing problems with his back sapped his power in 2014. After averaging 26 home runs and 75 runs batted between 2011-13, Hardy hit just nine home runs and drove in only 52 runs last season.
Despite the drop off, the Orioles rewarded Hardy with a new three-year $40 million contract extension just days before he could have become a free agent last October.
Hardy has already made over $40 million playing professional baseball and could someday become the richest big leaguer ever out of Tucson.
CDO grad Ian Kinsler ('00) right now is slightly ahead of Hardy having pocketed $51 million in his nine-year big league career.
Kinsler will make $16 million this season for the Tigers while Hardy will take home an $11.5 million cut from the Orioles.
Despite the drop off in power, which saw Hardy go a career-long 339 at-bats between home runs, he still had 142 hits in 2014 just 16 less than he had in both 2012 and 2013.