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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Derek Jeter's best batting season: number 66 all time ... among Yankees.

Derek Jeter's best OPS+ : 153 in 1999, tied among Yankees for 66th best with Jorge Posada and Danny Tartabull.  The only prominent Yankee without a season with OPS+ at least 150 (50% better than league average) is Yogi Berra (142).  See the table below.

OPS+ is On Base "Percentage" (OBP) plus Slugging Percentage, adjusted for era and parks.

In case you think OPS+ puts Jeter at a disadvantage against the home run hitters I also checked OBP and there is another table below with the best 50 Yankee seasons.  Jeter's best OBP: .438 in 1999, number 32.  Hey, about half his rank of 66 in OPS+.

Consider this the next time somebody implies that Jeter belongs in the same company as the Yankees big four, listed chronologically: Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle.  Jeter played 20 seasons but was the best batter on his team only in 1999.

Jeter leads the Yankees in career hits; Jeter is also career leader in:
Jeter: 8,216
Williams: 5,919

double plays:
Jeter: 287
Williams: 223

strike outs:
Jeter: 1,829
Mantle: 1,710

Jeter is number five among Yankees in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) but that's a total and like hits is a function of longevity; it also includes fielding data of questionable value.  Even DiMaggio has more WAR than Jeter and Joe's career was much shorter.  Here is Offensive WAR:

New York Yankees Top 10 Batting Leaders

RankPlayerOffensive WARPA
1.Babe Ruth135.49198
2.Mickey Mantle116.09907
3.Lou Gehrig112.19663
4.Derek Jeter95.312531
5.Joe DiMaggio73.47673
6.Bernie Williams62.69053
7.Yogi Berra56.38350
8.Bill Dickey53.87065
9.Alex Rodriguez51.45657
10.Tony Lazzeri48.47068
Jorge Posada48.47150
As you cruise through these two tables note the black ink, which indicates leading the league, which was easier with fewer teams and players years ago, but is still indicative of a batter's dominance.

Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/9/2014.


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