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Friday, February 14, 2014

Derek Jeter is not a great hitter or fielder. So, how can he be a great player?

Rings?  You want to go with rings?  Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra had twice as many.  OK, it's twice as difficult to win a championship now so maybe their ten equate to Jeter's five.  Counting championships is silly anyway.  Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub, who recently turned 80, never won no stinking ring.  Banks switched from shortstop to first base in 1962.  His home runs from 1955 through 1961: 44, 28, 43, 47, 45, 41, 29.  Banks was National League MVP in 1958 and 1959 because he was a great hitting shortstop.  Banks played 1,259 games at first and 1,125 at short, so he should be considered a first baseman.  But Banks is in the Hall of Fame because of his great seasons as a shortstop.

Alex Rodriguez was also a great home run hitting shortstop.  Rodriguez switched to third base when he was traded from Texas to the Yankees.  Rodriguez has still played more games at short than at third: 1,272 to 1,189.  Rodriguez had these home runs 1996 through 2003: 35 (also led in BA: .358), 23, 42, 42, 41, 52, 57, 47 (MVP).

Since Jeter is not a home run hitter we can skip that for him.  Let's compare Jeter to Banks and Rodriguez on OPS+ when they played those seasons at shortstop.  For Jeter, I'll start him in 1998 after he had 101 and 103 in his first two full seasons and take Jeter through 2005 so he will have a comparable number of consecutive seasons.  After 2005 Jeter had these good years, which would not change his average:
2006 132
2007 121
2009 125


BanksRodriguez Jeter
144161127
136120153
149136128
155134124
156163111
146160125
123158114
147125
144147126

Their averages are at the bottom.

When you hear about Jeter's rank among shortstops, consider both Banks and Rodriguez who may not be included in career comparisons.

As you go through this post think about this fundamental question: who is he better than?  As a hitter, who is Derek Jeter better than?  Who is the best hitter Jeter is better than?

Since 1969, playing at least 75% of games at shortstop, seasons OPS+ at least 150:


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Rico Petrocelli 168 1969 26 BOS AL 154 643 535 92 159 32 2 40 97 98 13 68 1 3 6 12 3 5 .297 .403 .589 .992 *6/5
2 Robin Yount 166 1982 26 MIL AL 156 704 635 129 210 46 12 29 114 54 2 63 1 4 10 19 14 3 .331 .379 .578 .957 *6/HD
3 Alex Rodriguez 163 2000 24 SEA AL 148 672 554 134 175 34 2 41 132 100 5 121 7 0 11 10 15 4 .316 .420 .606 1.026 *6
4 Cal Ripken 162 1991 30 BAL AL 162 717 650 99 210 46 5 34 114 53 15 46 5 0 9 19 6 1 .323 .374 .566 .940 *6
5 Alex Rodriguez 161 1996 20 SEA AL 146 677 601 141 215 54 1 36 123 59 1 104 4 6 7 15 15 4 .358 .414 .631 1.045 *6/H
6 Alex Rodriguez 160 2001 25 TEX AL 162 732 632 133 201 34 1 52 135 75 6 131 16 0 9 17 18 3 .318 .399 .622 1.021 *6/D
7 Alex Rodriguez 158 2002 26 TEX AL 162 725 624 125 187 27 2 57 142 87 12 122 10 0 4 14 9 4 .300 .392 .623 1.015 *6/H
8 Nomar Garciaparra 156 2000 26 BOS AL 140 599 529 104 197 51 3 21 96 61 20 50 2 0 7 8 5 2 .372 .434 .599 1.033 *6/HD
9 Barry Larkin 155 1996 32 CIN NL 152 627 517 117 154 32 4 33 89 96 3 52 7 0 7 20 36 10 .298 .410 .567 .977 *6/H
10 Alan Trammell 155 1987 29 DET AL 151 668 597 109 205 34 3 28 105 60 8 47 3 2 6 11 21 2 .343 .402 .551 .953 *6/H
11 Derek Jeter 153 1999 25 NYY AL 158 739 627 134 219 37 9 24 102 91 5 116 12 3 6 12 19 8 .349 .438 .552 .989 *6
12 Nomar Garciaparra 153 1999 25 BOS AL 135 595 532 103 190 42 4 27 104 51 7 39 8 0 4 11 14 3 .357 .418 .603 1.022 *6/H
13 Robin Yount 150 1983 27 MIL AL 149 662 578 102 178 42 10 17 80 72 6 58 3 1 8 11 12 5 .308 .383 .503 .886 *6/DH
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/14/2014.

As demonstrated in the previous post Jeter's batting does not place him among the Yankee greats listed with their career OPS+ rank among all batters.

Derek Jeter announces his retirement after 2014 season and the slobbering is in full force on the Selig TV Network.  Thursday, February 13, 2014

1. Babe Ruth 206
4. Lou Gehrig 179, MVP, triple crown
6. Mickey Mantle 172, 3 MVP, triple crown
22. Joe DiMaggio 155, 3 MVP
201. Bill Dickey 127
236. Yogi Berra 125, 3 MVP
438. Derek Jeter 117
_________________________________________________

Squint and you can see Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle
That post also has a detailed comparison between Jeter and Rodriguez based on their career batting numbers.  OPS+ for Rodriguez is 143.

Of all the nonsense I heard Wednesday on D-Day (Derek Day retirement announcement) the silliest was to say that Jeter is for his era what Ruth, DiMaggio and Mantle were for theirs.  Somehow Gehrig was omitted.  Say what?  Jeter as a batter was below two catchers, Dickey and Berra, and we all know the physical toll that catching takes.

Jeter's best OPS+ was 153 in 1999.  Yankee batters have topped that 64 times; 16 times a Yankee has had at least 201, all by three players: Ruth (10), Gehrig (3) and Mantle (3). DiMaggio's best: 184.  Even Bobby Murcer had 181 and 169 in 1971-2.  Ruth had the highest: 255.  Highest Yankee during the Jeter era: Alex Rodriguez 176.

Let's see how Jeter compares to his teammates.  I used OPS+ so that it's easier to compare to Yankees from previous eras.  There is a summary below the leaders for individual seasons.  It's devastating to the idea that Jeter was a great hitter.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Bernie Williams 131 1996 27 NYY AL 143 641 551 108 168 26 7 29 102 82 8 72 0 1 7 15 17 4 .305 .391 .535 .926 *8/DH
2 Paul O'Neill 123 1996 33 NYY AL 150 660 546 89 165 35 1 19 91 102 8 76 4 0 8 21 0 1 .302 .411 .474 .885 *9/DH3
3 Tino Martinez 108 1996 28 NYY AL 155 671 595 82 174 28 0 25 117 68 4 85 2 1 5 18 2 1 .292 .364 .466 .830 *3/HD
4 Derek Jeter 101 1996 22 NYY AL 157 654 582 104 183 25 6 10 78 48 1 102 9 6 9 13 14 7 .314 .370 .430 .800 *6
5 Wade Boggs 98 1996 38 NYY AL 132 574 501 80 156 29 2 2 41 67 7 32 0 1 5 10 1 2 .311 .389 .389 .778 *5/HD
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Bernie Williams 147 1997 28 NYY AL 129 591 509 107 167 35 6 21 100 73 7 80 1 0 8 10 15 8 .328 .408 .544 .952 *8/H
2 Tino Martinez 143 1997 29 NYY AL 158 685 594 96 176 31 2 44 141 75 14 75 3 0 13 15 3 1 .296 .371 .577 .948 *3/DH
3 Paul O'Neill 137 1997 34 NYY AL 149 637 553 89 179 42 0 21 117 75 8 92 0 0 9 16 10 7 .324 .399 .514 .912 *9/HD3
4 Derek Jeter 103 1997 23 NYY AL 159 748 654 116 190 31 7 10 70 74 0 125 10 8 2 14 23 12 .291 .370 .405 .775 *6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.



Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Bernie Williams 160 1998 29 NYY AL 128 578 499 101 169 30 5 26 97 74 9 81 1 0 4 19 15 9 .339 .422 .575 .997 *8/D
2 Paul O'Neill 130 1998 35 NYY AL 152 672 602 95 191 40 2 24 116 57 2 103 2 0 11 22 15 1 .317 .372 .510 .882 *9/HD
3 Derek Jeter 127 1998 24 NYY AL 149 694 626 127 203 25 8 19 84 57 1 119 5 3 3 13 30 6 .324 .384 .481 .864 *6/H
4 Tino Martinez 124 1998 30 NYY AL 142 608 531 92 149 33 1 28 123 61 3 83 6 0 10 18 2 1 .281 .355 .505 .860 *3/H
5 Scott Brosius 121 1998 31 NYY AL 152 603 530 86 159 34 0 19 98 52 1 97 10 8 3 4 11 8 .300 .371 .472 .843 *5/3H9
6 Chuck Knoblauch 102 1998 29 NYY AL 150 706 603 117 160 25 4 17 64 76 1 70 18 2 7 13 31 12 .265 .361 .405 .765 *4/D
7 Chad Curtis 90 1998 29 NYY AL 151 545 456 79 111 21 1 10 56 75 3 80 7 1 6 11 21 5 .243 .355 .360 .714 *78H/9D
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Derek Jeter 153 1999 25 NYY AL 158 739 627 134 219 37 9 24 102 91 5 116 12 3 6 12 19 8 .349 .438 .552 .989 *6
2 Bernie Williams 149 1999 30 NYY AL 158 697 591 116 202 28 6 25 115 100 17 95 1 0 5 11 9 10 .342 .435 .536 .971 *8/HD
3 Chuck Knoblauch 118 1999 30 NYY AL 150 715 603 120 176 36 4 18 68 83 0 57 21 3 5 7 28 9 .292 .393 .454 .848 *4
4 Chili Davis 108 1999 39 NYY AL 146 554 476 59 128 25 1 19 78 73 7 100 2 0 3 12 4 1 .269 .366 .445 .812 *DH
5 Paul O'Neill 107 1999 36 NYY AL 153 675 597 70 170 39 4 19 110 66 1 89 2 0 10 24 11 9 .285 .353 .459 .812 *9/H
6 Tino Martinez 104 1999 31 NYY AL 159 665 589 95 155 27 2 28 105 69 7 86 3 0 4 14 3 4 .263 .341 .458 .800 *3/H
7 Scott Brosius 84 1999 32 NYY AL 133 529 473 64 117 26 1 17 71 39 2 74 6 2 9 13 9 3 .247 .307 .414 .722 *5/HD
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Bernie Williams 140 2000 31 NYY AL 141 616 537 108 165 37 6 30 121 71 11 84 5 0 3 15 13 5 .307 .391 .566 .957 *8/DH
2 Jorge Posada 139 2000 28 NYY AL 151 624 505 92 145 35 1 28 86 107 10 151 8 0 4 11 2 2 .287 .417 .527 .943 *23/HD
3 Derek Jeter 128 2000 26 NYY AL 148 679 593 119 201 31 4 15 73 68 4 99 12 3 3 14 22 4 .339 .416 .481 .896 *6
4 Paul O'Neill 92 2000 37 NYY AL 142 628 566 79 160 26 0 18 100 51 2 90 0 0 11 17 14 9 .283 .336 .424 .760 *9/DH
5 Tino Martinez 89 2000 32 NYY AL 155 632 569 69 147 37 4 16 91 52 9 74 8 0 3 16 4 1 .258 .328 .422 .749 *3/H
6 Scott Brosius 70 2000 33 NYY AL 135 519 470 57 108 20 0 16 64 45 1 73 2 0 2 17 0 3 .230 .299 .374 .673 *5/3HD79
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Bernie Williams 139 2001 32 NYY AL 146 633 540 102 166 38 0 26 94 78 11 67 6 0 9 15 11 5 .307 .395 .522 .917 *8/HD
2 Derek Jeter 124 2001 27 NYY AL 150 686 614 110 191 35 3 21 74 56 3 99 10 5 1 13 27 3 .311 .377 .480 .858 *6
3 Jorge Posada 118 2001 29 NYY AL 138 557 484 59 134 28 1 22 95 62 10 132 6 0 5 10 2 6 .277 .363 .475 .838 *2/DH3
4 Tino Martinez 114 2001 33 NYY AL 154 635 589 89 165 24 2 34 113 42 2 89 2 0 2 12 1 2 .280 .329 .501 .830 *3/HD
5 Paul O'Neill 105 2001 38 NYY AL 137 563 510 77 136 33 1 21 70 48 4 59 2 0 3 20 22 3 .267 .330 .459 .789 *9/DH
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Jason Giambi 172 2002 31 NYY AL 155 689 560 120 176 34 1 41 122 109 4 112 15 0 5 18 2 2 .314 .435 .598 1.034 *3D
2 Bernie Williams 141 2002 33 NYY AL 154 699 612 102 204 37 2 19 102 83 7 97 3 0 1 19 8 4 .333 .415 .493 .908 *8/DH
3 Alfonso Soriano 129 2002 26 NYY AL 156 741 696 128 209 51 2 39 102 23 1 157 14 1 7 8 41 13 .300 .332 .547 .880 *4/HD
4 Jorge Posada 121 2002 30 NYY AL 143 598 511 79 137 40 1 20 99 81 9 143 3 0 3 23 1 0 .268 .370 .468 .837 *2/HD
5 Robin Ventura 119 2002 34 NYY AL 141 562 465 68 115 17 0 27 93 90 9 101 2 0 5 14 3 1 .247 .368 .458 .826 *5H/3
6 Derek Jeter 111 2002 28 NYY AL 157 730 644 124 191 26 0 18 75 73 2 114 7 3 3 14 32 3 .297 .373 .421 .794 *6/D
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Jason Giambi 148 2003 32 NYY AL 156 690 535 97 134 25 0 41 107 129 9 140 21 0 5 9 2 1 .250 .412 .527 .939 *3D/H
2 Jorge Posada 144 2003 31 NYY AL 142 588 481 83 135 24 0 30 101 93 6 110 10 0 4 13 2 4 .281 .405 .518 .922 *2/HD
3 Alfonso Soriano 126 2003 27 NYY AL 156 734 682 114 198 36 5 38 91 38 7 130 12 0 2 8 35 8 .290 .338 .525 .863 *4/H
4 Derek Jeter 125 2003 29 NYY AL 119 542 482 87 156 25 3 10 52 43 2 88 13 3 1 10 11 5 .324 .393 .450 .844 *6/H
5 Hideki Matsui 109 2003 29 NYY AL 163 695 623 82 179 42 1 16 106 63 5 86 3 0 6 25 2 2 .287 .353 .435 .788 *78/DH
6 Bernie Williams 107 2003 34 NYY AL 119 521 445 77 117 19 1 15 64 71 8 61 3 0 2 21 5 0 .263 .367 .411 .778 *8/DH
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Gary Sheffield 141 2004 35 NYY AL 154 684 573 117 166 30 1 36 121 92 7 83 11 0 8 16 5 6 .290 .393 .534 .927 *9D/5
2 Hideki Matsui 137 2004 30 NYY AL 162 680 584 109 174 34 2 31 108 88 2 103 3 0 5 11 3 0 .298 .390 .522 .912 *7/8
3 Jorge Posada 131 2004 32 NYY AL 137 547 449 72 122 31 0 21 81 88 5 92 9 0 1 24 1 3 .272 .400 .481 .881 *2H
4 Alex Rodriguez 131 2004 28 NYY AL 155 698 601 112 172 24 2 36 106 80 6 131 10 0 7 18 28 4 .286 .375 .512 .888 *5/6
5 Derek Jeter 114 2004 30 NYY AL 154 721 643 111 188 44 1 23 78 46 1 99 14 16 2 19 23 4 .292 .352 .471 .823 *6
6 Bernie Williams 108 2004 35 NYY AL 148 651 561 105 147 29 1 22 70 85 5 96 2 1 2 19 1 5 .262 .360 .435 .795 *8D/H
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Alex Rodriguez 173 2005 29 NYY AL 162 715 605 124 194 29 1 48 130 91 8 139 16 0 3 8 21 6 .321 .421 .610 1.031 *5/6D
2 Jason Giambi 161 2005 34 NYY AL 139 545 417 74 113 14 0 32 87 108 5 109 19 0 1 7 0 0 .271 .440 .535 .975 *3D/H
3 Gary Sheffield 137 2005 36 NYY AL 154 675 584 104 170 27 0 34 123 78 7 76 8 0 5 11 10 2 .291 .379 .512 .891 *9D/H
4 Hideki Matsui 130 2005 31 NYY AL 162 704 629 108 192 45 3 23 116 63 7 78 3 0 8 16 2 2 .305 .367 .496 .863 *78D/9H
5 Derek Jeter 125 2005 31 NYY AL 159 752 654 122 202 25 5 19 70 77 3 117 11 7 3 15 14 5 .309 .389 .450 .839 *6/HD
6 Jorge Posada 109 2005 33 NYY AL 142 546 474 67 124 23 0 19 71 66 5 94 2 0 4 8 1 0 .262 .352 .430 .782 *2H/D
7 Robinson Cano 106 2005 22 NYY AL 132 551 522 78 155 34 4 14 62 16 1 68 3 7 3 16 1 3 .297 .320 .458 .778 *4/H
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.

Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Jason Giambi 148 2006 35 NYY AL 139 579 446 92 113 25 0 37 113 110 12 106 16 0 7 10 2 0 .253 .413 .558 .971 *D3/H
2 Alex Rodriguez 134 2006 30 NYY AL 154 674 572 113 166 26 1 35 121 90 8 139 8 0 4 22 15 4 .290 .392 .523 .914 *5/HD
3 Derek Jeter 132 2006 32 NYY AL 154 715 623 118 214 39 3 14 97 69 4 102 12 7 4 13 34 5 .343 .417 .483 .900 *6/D
4 Robinson Cano 126 2006 23 NYY AL 122 508 482 62 165 41 1 15 78 18 3 54 2 1 5 19 5 2 .342 .365 .525 .890 *4/DH
5 Jorge Posada 122 2006 34 NYY AL 143 545 465 65 129 27 2 23 93 64 1 97 11 0 5 10 3 0 .277 .374 .492 .867 *2H/D3
6 Johnny Damon 115 2006 32 NYY AL 149 671 593 115 169 35 5 24 80 67 1 85 4 2 5 4 25 10 .285 .359 .482 .841 *8D/H3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Alex Rodriguez 176 2007 31 NYY AL 158 708 583 143 183 31 0 54 156 95 11 120 21 0 9 15 24 4 .314 .422 .645 1.067 *5/D
2 Jorge Posada 153 2007 35 NYY AL 144 589 506 91 171 42 1 20 90 74 7 98 6 0 3 18 2 0 .338 .426 .543 .970 *2H/D3
3 Hideki Matsui 123 2007 33 NYY AL 143 634 547 100 156 28 4 25 103 73 2 73 3 0 10 9 4 2 .285 .367 .488 .855 *7D
4 Derek Jeter 121 2007 33 NYY AL 156 714 639 102 206 39 4 12 73 56 3 100 14 3 2 21 15 8 .322 .388 .452 .840 *6/H
5 Robinson Cano 119 2007 24 NYY AL 160 669 617 93 189 41 7 19 97 39 5 85 8 1 4 19 4 5 .306 .353 .488 .841 *4/H
6 Bobby Abreu 113 2007 33 NYY AL 158 699 605 123 171 40 5 16 101 84 0 115 3 0 7 11 25 8 .283 .369 .445 .814 *9/HD
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Alex Rodriguez 150 2008 32 NYY AL 138 594 510 104 154 33 0 35 103 65 9 117 14 0 5 16 18 3 .302 .392 .573 .965 *5/D
2 Jason Giambi 128 2008 37 NYY AL 145 565 458 68 113 19 1 32 96 76 5 111 22 0 9 6 2 1 .247 .373 .502 .876 *3D/H
3 Bobby Abreu 120 2008 34 NYY AL 156 684 609 100 180 39 4 20 100 73 2 109 1 0 1 14 22 11 .296 .371 .471 .843 *9/HD
4 Johnny Damon 118 2008 34 NYY AL 143 623 555 95 168 27 5 17 71 64 0 82 1 2 1 5 29 8 .303 .375 .461 .836 *78D/H3
5 Derek Jeter 102 2008 34 NYY AL 150 668 596 88 179 25 3 11 69 52 0 85 9 7 4 24 11 5 .300 .363 .408 .771 *6/D
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Mark Teixeira 141 2009 29 NYY AL 156 707 609 103 178 43 3 39 122 81 9 114 12 0 5 13 2 0 .292 .383 .565 .948 *3/DH
2 Alex Rodriguez 138 2009 33 NYY AL 124 535 444 78 127 17 1 30 100 80 7 97 8 0 3 13 14 2 .286 .402 .532 .933 *5/DH
3 Derek Jeter 125 2009 35 NYY AL 153 716 634 107 212 27 1 18 66 72 4 90 5 4 1 18 30 5 .334 .406 .465 .871 *6/DH
4 Hideki Matsui 123 2009 35 NYY AL 142 528 456 62 125 21 1 28 90 64 1 75 4 0 2 4 0 1 .274 .367 .509 .876 *DH
5 Nick Swisher 122 2009 28 NYY AL 150 607 498 84 124 35 1 29 82 97 2 126 3 3 6 13 0 0 .249 .371 .498 .869 *93/7HD1
6 Robinson Cano 121 2009 26 NYY AL 161 674 637 103 204 48 2 25 85 30 2 63 3 0 4 22 5 7 .320 .352 .520 .871 *4/H
7 Johnny Damon 118 2009 35 NYY AL 143 626 550 107 155 36 3 24 82 71 1 98 2 2 1 9 12 0 .282 .365 .489 .854 *7/HD
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Robinson Cano 141 2010 27 NYY AL 160 696 626 103 200 41 3 29 109 57 14 77 8 0 5 19 3 2 .319 .381 .534 .914 *4/DH
2 Nick Swisher 129 2010 29 NYY AL 150 635 566 91 163 33 3 29 89 58 0 139 6 3 2 13 1 2 .288 .359 .511 .870 *9D/H38
3 Mark Teixeira 124 2010 30 NYY AL 158 712 601 113 154 36 0 33 108 93 6 122 13 0 5 15 0 1 .256 .365 .481 .846 *3/DH
4 Alex Rodriguez 123 2010 34 NYY AL 137 595 522 74 141 29 2 30 125 59 1 98 3 0 11 7 4 3 .270 .341 .506 .847 *5D/H
5 Curtis Granderson 108 2010 29 NYY AL 136 528 466 76 115 17 7 24 67 53 3 116 2 4 3 3 12 2 .247 .324 .468 .792 *8H
6 Brett Gardner 105 2010 26 NYY AL 150 569 477 97 132 20 7 5 47 79 1 101 5 5 3 6 47 9 .277 .383 .379 .762 *78/HD
7 Derek Jeter 90 2010 36 NYY AL 157 739 663 111 179 30 3 10 67 63 4 106 9 1 3 22 18 5 .270 .340 .370 .710 *6/DH
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Curtis Granderson 142 2011 30 NYY AL 156 691 583 136 153 26 10 41 119 85 0 169 12 4 7 12 25 10 .262 .364 .552 .916 *8/HD
2 Robinson Cano 133 2011 28 NYY AL 159 681 623 104 188 46 7 28 118 38 11 96 12 0 8 18 8 2 .302 .349 .533 .882 *4/DH
3 Mark Teixeira 121 2011 31 NYY AL 156 684 589 90 146 26 1 39 111 76 3 110 11 0 8 12 4 1 .248 .341 .494 .835 *3/DH
4 Nick Swisher 120 2011 30 NYY AL 150 635 526 81 137 30 0 23 85 95 6 125 5 1 8 18 2 2 .260 .374 .449 .822 *93/DH
5 Derek Jeter 100 2011 37 NYY AL 131 607 546 84 162 24 4 6 61 46 0 81 6 4 5 10 16 6 .297 .355 .388 .743 *6D
6 Brett Gardner 92 2011 27 NYY AL 159 588 510 87 132 19 8 7 36 60 1 93 8 8 2 5 49 13 .259 .345 .369 .713 *78/H
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Robinson Cano 148 2012 29 NYY AL 161 697 627 105 196 48 1 33 94 61 10 96 7 0 2 22 3 2 .313 .379 .550 .929 *4/DH
2 Nick Swisher 125 2012 31 NYY AL 148 624 537 75 146 36 0 24 93 77 2 141 4 1 5 9 2 3 .272 .364 .473 .837 *93D/H
3 Curtis Granderson 115 2012 31 NYY AL 160 684 596 102 138 18 4 43 106 75 4 195 5 1 7 5 10 3 .232 .319 .492 .811 *8/HD
4 Mark Teixeira 115 2012 32 NYY AL 123 524 451 66 113 27 1 24 84 54 1 83 7 0 12 11 2 1 .251 .332 .475 .807 *3/DH
5 Derek Jeter 114 2012 38 NYY AL 159 740 683 99 216 32 0 15 58 45 1 90 5 6 1 24 9 4 .316 .362 .429 .791 *6D
6 Alex Rodriguez 111 2012 36 NYY AL 122 529 463 74 126 17 1 18 57 51 3 116 10 0 5 13 13 1 .272 .353 .430 .783 *5D/H
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2014.

Here is the brutal summary that exposes Jeter as a consistently good but not great hitter.


yearYankee LeaderOPS+Jeter OPS+Jeter rank
1996Bernie Williams1311014
1997Bernie Williams1471034
1998Bernie Williams1601273
1999Derek Jeter1531531
2000Bernie Williams1401283
2001Bernie Williams1391242
2002Jason Giambi1721116
2003Jason Giambi1481254
2004Gary Sheffield1411145
2005Alex Rodriguez1731255
2006Jason Giambi1491323
2007Alex Rodriguez1761214
2008Alex Rodriguez1501025
2009Mark Teixeira1411253
2010Robinson Cano141907
2011Curtis Granderson1421005
2012Robinson Cano1481145
average1501174

In 18 seasons Jeter was the best Yankee hitter once.  ONCE!  I find that shocking.  During his own era Jeter was not the best hitter on his own team.  Generally, Jeter was number four ... on his own team.  How much could Jeter have possibly been needed?

3,316 hits?  Pete Rose had 940 (28%) more.

Who is the best hitter Jeter is better than?

Fielding?  As a Yankee fan I always liked Jeter's fielding.  I often defended him against other Yankee fans who criticized Jeter unmercifully.  However, the people who claim to understand the various and evolving fielding metrics evaluate Jeter as below average.  I'm tired of fighting.  With the game on the line I trusted Jeter more than any other shortstop to retire the batter on a routine ground ball.  That might sound like faint praise but "late and close" is a situation used to evaluate batters, so why not for fielders, too?

Derek Jeter is not a great hitter or fielder.  So, how can he be a great player?  I don't have a good answer.  But I'd vote for him for the Hall of Fame.  He's a Yankee and I like him.  That's my view as a fan.

2 comments:

Cliff Blau said...

The answer to the question of who the best hitter that Jeter is better than is Eddie Mathews. Mathews had 93.5 oWAR while Jeter has 94.0. Jeter just needs a barely productive season to pass Jimmie Foxx for 20th place all-time.

CSM said...

Rather than disparaging Jeter's career -- as seems to be the author's intent -- this post actually underscore just how impressive it really was. When a shortstop is consistently one of the best or better hitters on an offensively loaded team, that's really saying a lot.