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Friday, February 21, 2014

Shortstops make a lot of outs. One also strikes out a lot, too: Derek Jeter.

Rabbit Maranville 1914
In his final season Derek Jeter can easily reach 8,000 outs and 1,800 strike outs.

Of the players who made the most outs, here are the shortstops in the top 18:
4. Cal Ripken
7. Omar Vizquel
9. Robin Yount (first half of career at short)
12. Luis Aparicio
15. Rabbit Maranville
18. Derek Jeter

That's about one third.  Even distribution for the eight non pitcher fielding positions would be 12.5%.  Eliminate catchers who don't last and it's still about 14%.  Shortstops account for about 30% of the top 18 out makers.  Below are the top 20.

Most of the hype about the batting of Derek Jeter has been expressed in totals.  The Yankees emphasize that Jeter has the most hits in team history and most runs, etc.  They never mention that Jeter has also made the most outs.  We get it.  Jeter played more than any other Yankee.  Same for shortstops.  Jeter is at or near the top of shortstop lists for longevity.  Jeter played a long time and did not switch positions.

It's the classic case of quality versus quantity.  Would the Dodgers have been better off with Koufax (WAR 53.2; high 10.7) or Sutton (WAR 68.7; high 6.6)?  It's not an easy question to answer.  Some would blindly add up WAR and declare a winner.  WAR is a total.  If one guy plays substantially longer then he will almost always have higher totals.



Derek Jeter is also number 18 in career strike outs, most of any full career shortstop.  Only Alex Rodriguez, who was a shortstop during the first half of his career, is the only shortstop ahead of Jeter.  Jeter has fewer home runs of any of the top 20 in strike outs.

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