Thursday, October 25, 2012
2012 In Review - Derek Jeter
So far most of these have been a bit more sour than I expected. And now I have to write about a player I hate?
I’ll admit it. After watching Derek Jeter hit .259/.332/.338 in 900+ PA with a ground ball percentage of roughly 99.99999% from May 3, 2010 through June 13, 2011 I thought he was done. He finished 2011 by hitting .331/.384/.447 after returning from the DL on July 3 which made me think he may have more left in the tank than I expected, but I figured that it was also at least partially a fluke of BABIP (.390) and he would still probably not hit much better than .285/.350/.400 or so. CAIRO projected him worse than that, as did just about every other projection.
|2012 League Avg||740||665||87||170||33||3||21||83||13||4||59||143||15||6||.255||.320||.411||.311||86||75|
The second set of projections, league average and 2011 stats are pro-rated to 2012 PA to allow a direct comparison. League average is not adjusted for DNYS so mentally account for that.
Jeter had more hits for a player aged 38 or older than any other player in history save Paul Molitor in 1996. He had 26 more singles than projected and even showed a bit more pop with five additional HRs. He traded some walks for singles and lost some steals and hit into more double plays but was close to a win better than projected offensively overall. Jeter’s offensive performance was one of the best things about the 2012 season. Even a bone bruise that he played through for most of the last month of the season didn’t slow him down much as he hit .300/.364/.354 in September as the Yankees managed to hold off Baltimore to win the AL East.
Unfortunately, Jeter’s season ended with a fractured ankle during Game 1 of the ALCS which was probably at least partly attributable to playing through the bone bruise. Jeter was one of the few Yankee hitters to show up during the postseason (.333/.379/.444) and losing him was a pretty big blow to a team that ended up getting swept in the ALCS.
As far as his glove, as regular readers have noticed I’ve pretty much stopped talking about defensive metrics. Anyone who thinks Jeter is a good defensive shortstop at this point is probably deluding himself. Is he historically awful? I suppose it’s possible, but it doesn’t show up in the play by play numbers. He just shows up as really bad, in the area of 15-18 runs below average. It cuts into his value, but it doesn’t take it all away.
Although he’s expected to make a full recovery after having surgery on his ankle, you wonder how it may impact his already limited range and if it will give the Yankees the impetus to think about a position change. I don’t think Jeter could handle 3B since his first step seems to be his biggest problem and that’s a killer at third. They will probably keep him at short to begin 2013 but will keep a close eye on him. I’d look for them to try and acquire a defensive specialist SS type for the roster as depth because Nun-E as the only other SS on the roster doesn’t strike me as smart planning. I wonder what Ramiro Pena is doing these days?