The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 

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.

Projection PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO GDP HBP avg obp slg wOBA BR BR/650 BRAR
cairo 581 519 82 149 22 1 8 56 16 5 46 83 14 6 .286 .347 .384 .325 67 75 25
davenport 560 510 72 147 27 2 9 54 14 4 46 73 13 4 .288 .354 .402 .336 69 80 25
marcel 577 518 79 147 23 2 9 54 16 5 47 83 13 5 .284 .347 .388 .327 68 76 25
oliver 635 574 73 162 25 3 8 60 14 5 49 85 17 5 .282 .342 .378 .321 71 73 24
pecota 694 632 82 180 28 3 9 66 18 6 56 106 16 6 .285 .351 .382 .328 81 76 30
zips 598 542 78 145 22 4 7 58 14 5 46 84 13 6 .268 .331 .362 .310 63 68 19
average 607 543 86 156 25 3 8 58 15 5 48 85 14 5 .286 .346 .386 .325 71 76 26
Projection PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO GDP HBP avg obp slg wOBA BR BR/650 BRAR
cairo 740 662 104 190 28 2 11 72 20 6 58 105 18 7 .286 .345 .384 .325 86 75 31
davenport 740 674 95 194 36 3 12 71 19 5 61 96 17 5 .288 .352 .402 .336 92 80 32
marcel 740 664 101 189 29 3 12 69 21 6 60 106 17 6 .284 .345 .388 .327 87 76 32
oliver 740 669 85 189 29 3 9 70 16 6 57 99 20 6 .282 .340 .378 .321 83 73 28
pecota 740 674 87 192 30 3 10 70 19 6 60 113 17 6 .285 .349 .382 .328 86 76 32
zips 740 671 97 179 27 5 9 72 17 6 57 104 16 7 .268 .329 .362 .310 77 68 23
average 740 662 104 190 30 3 10 71 19 6 59 104 17 6 .286 .344 .388 .325 86 76 32
2012 740 683 99 216 32 0 15 99 9 4 45 90 24 5 .316 .359 .429 .348 95 84 41
diff -5 26 2 -3 5 28 -10 -2 -14 -14 7 -1 .030 .015 .041 .022
2012 League Avg 740 665 87 170 33 3 21 83 13 4 59 143 15 6 .255 .320 .411 .311 86 75
2011 740 666 102 197 29 5 7 74 20 7 56 99 12 7 .297 .353 .388 .330 88 77 33

diff: Difference between average projection and 2012 actual statistic
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: BR above replacement level, adjusted for position

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?

--Posted at 8:06 am by SG / 30 Comments | - (0)

Comments

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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.

I believe his first step to his *left* is particularly bad, and that he still shows good quickness to his right.  For whatever reason.  So that may be mitigated a bit at 3rd, especially if they can find a defensive whiz at SS.  He’s also good at charging the ball, so should be able to handle squib shots, bunts, etc.  All that said, minus him showing a complete inability to field the position going forward (or if he completely loses the ability to hit), the only way he’s moving off of SS in 2013 is if he misses a good chunk of the early season, AND his replacement (almost definitely Nunez) plays so well you can’t remove him.  Possible of course…but unlikely.

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?

Well, I expect them to also have Nix on the team.  Besides that though the problem is what other SS are available?  Most of the defensive whiz’s are either a) hit enough to be starters or b) can’t hit enough to even be utility IF.  So either they get a player like Cliff Pennington that we constantly complain when he plays (especially at 3rd), or hope Nunez figures out his throwing issues. 

Of course, we all know the best solution may be to find a long-term solution at SS.  E.g. explore trading for Andrus and then give him a 10 year contract for like $125M.

RBI column is off.

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?

Best review piece opening ever.

Jeter’s power surprised me a lot this season. It would be nice if that carried over into his age 39 season but I’m not holding my breath.

If not SS or 3B, what other position is there for him? An OF switch at 39?  DH?  After Bernie left I was saying he should switch to CF but now I honestly think the only position switch for him is to BUI and we aren’t there yet.

I keep hearing 4-5 months for his ankle.  Hopefully he is completely healthy for the start of the season and this isn’t a lingering issue.  His resurgence has been nice but I can’t help but think it could literally stop any day.  I’m enjoying it while it lasts, but it’s tough to expect it.

Baseball Reference has Jeter at -0.2 wins above average this year.

Why is there no graph correlating Jeter’s decrease in productivity to his wooing and engagement of Minka, then his subsequent rebirth as their relationship deteriorated?

It seems to me, and I am a layman, that Jeter’s ML performance is “enhanced”, if you will, by the amount of strange he gets.

I think Jeter could play RF ok.  But I’m guessing the only real position change will be more time at DH.

RBI column is off.

Yeah, but we aren’t supposed to look at RBI here.

Baseball Reference has Jeter at -0.2 wins above average this year.

Fangraphs has him at +0.73.  There’s a three run difference in defense (BB Ref uses DRS which has him at -18 and Fangraphs uses UZR which has him at -15) and the rest is different replacement levels.  Baseball Reference uses a higher value for replacement level.

[4 & 7] Yeah he definitely has the physical skills to play RF.  Strong (though no longer elite) arm, above average speed, and he’s shown a propensity for being able to chase down balls in the air.  Difference between RF and SS in position adjustment is ~15 runs.  Jeter looks to be ~15 runs below average on defense right now.  So, if he’s an average fielder in RF, it’s a wash.  Can he be average, can he be above average?  I think the physical skills are certainly there, and if he can be convinced it’s the best for him and the team I think the work ethic is there.  But it’s an unknown if he actually *can* make that transition.

Of course, even if we assume that it is a zero-sum gain to move him to RF, why do it?  It fills a hole in RF, but opens another one at SS.  I’m sure Cashman hoped that Nunez would make a leap between his bat and glove and look to be average or better at SS, but didn’t happen.  So, can they acquire a SS more easily/cheaper than a RF?  Answer is probably no.  I think minus getting Machado or Profar (not happening), they would need to get an established SS.  Maybe not Reyes or Tulowitski, but someone with a few years experience.  The best available FA is probably Stephen Drew.  Drew is recovering from injuries though and who knows if he’s any good any more.  There’s certainly some upside that he’s still a 3-4 win player for a few years, and he may be had for cheap due to the concerns but…looking at SS on other teams, I think looking into Andrus makes sense, and that’s probably all that is both worth trading for, may be available, and you can make an easy argument for replacing Jeter.

[9] “the rest is different replacement levels”

I would have thought this was something folks could agree on.

Yeah he definitely has the physical skills to play RF.  Strong (though no longer elite) arm, above average speed, and he’s shown a propensity for being able to chase down balls in the air.

Yeah, this was my argument for a move to CF at the time.  Fill the CF hole, shift A-Rod back to SS and you had a much better team.  The difference is he is now 39.  Has there every been a player who made an IF to OF position change for the first time that late in his career?  I know Yount did it but that was at 29, not 39.

[11] Mark Shapiro just stated that they value wins at about 8 million dollars, which most likely means that they are looking at “replacement level” as much higher than the general sabermetric population.

I would have thought this was something folks could agree on.

I thought they were reasonably similar but when I started noticing big disparities in position players that couldn’t be attributed to defense alone it became more obvious.

Cashman with Francesa this week said Jeter is the SS next year, for whatever that’s worth.  And as bad as his lateral range is, I really enjoy his sure-handedness.

From the previous thread, from Mike K.:

You know, maybe it’s just hard to develop players if you’re regularly winning, getting low draft picks, and losing those few picks to sign arb-eligible players that help you keep winning?

It is.  This is the point I’ve been trying to make.  At the same time, I feel the frustration, but I believe that if we want to indict the farm system, which I’m not against doing, we need to find some solid evidence.  I mean, there are teams like the Pirates who have been drafting in the top ten for years and years, and they’ve come up with McCutchen and….......?

the Pirates who have been drafting in the top ten for years and years, and they’ve come up with McCutchen and….......?

Maybe Pedro Alvarez.  I saw him in AAA and didn’t think he was a 3B.  So for the defensive #‘s seem to agree.  But he’s got some hitting skill, and he’s already had two decent seasons through his age 25 year.  But yeah, with how many to-15 selections they’ve had in the last TWO decades…

If you really think about it, how many current organizations have REGULARLY put out high quality, home-grown talent?  Not very many.  I think we look at a few of the teams that are both well run AND were perennial losers for a while (Tampa), and then look at some of the bigger teams that promote a good crop of players occasionally (in particular, the Yankees between 1995-1997), and think the Yankees *not* doing that makes them incompetent.  However, if 3 of the Williams/Sanchez/Austin/Heathcott group pan out, the Yankees will be doing the same thing other successful big market teams do; occasionally promoting a solid class of youngsters, and then building around that.

[16] For a while the Pirates had a TERRIBLE draft strategy, going high floor lowish ceiling, easy to sign players in the early rounds. In general, that is a terrible way to develop good ML players.

I think it is worse than terrible. It is downright insane. Using signability as a guide with the number one fucking pick is UNREAL.

[18] There’s a reason why the Pirates have been terrible for so long. Fortunately for them, they are drafting intelligently now and seem to be turning it around.

You know, maybe it’s just hard to develop players if you’re regularly winning,

Of course this is the design of the reverse order draft.  Perfectly done, winning teams become losing teams after so many years of success and some other teams that had been losing go to the playoffs. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Kansas City are among cities that feel their time is right to return to prominence or at least respectability.  Yankees 17 for 18 in going to postseason must really piss of Bud Selig and those who spend many hours trying to make losers out of NYY’s.
Actually, Boston has produced several really fine players and as a winning team the past 10 years have been able to get players to AAA. Of course, they have spun some off such as Reddick and Rizzo, but I think they have done pretty well drafting. Middlebrooks, Ellsbury, Pedroia come to mind among those they still have.
Yanks seemingly always seem to have their future at class A..for the most part though Montero I think will be a good hitter in the bigs. He of course was an international signing and I don’t think he was drafted, no?

Here’s especially how insane Pittsburgh’s strategy was.

So they wouldn’t draft BJ Upton #1 in 2002 because he was asking for a $4.6 million signing bonus. That IS a lot of money, don’t get me wrong. But really, what made more sense? Giving BJ Upton $4.6 million (and do note he very well could have settled for more if the Pirates had actually signed him, as they did have the leverage of him having to sit out for a year before re-entering the draft) or spending $4.6 million that offseason on Mike Williams, Pokey Reese and Ron Villone?

Come ON, Pirates!

BJ Upton has even been a fairly notable disappointment as a Major Leaguer and he STILL is the obvious call of those two options!

[6] SG, I think this idea is worth more investigation. Preferably with lots of pictures of Minka on the time line. As for Jeter’s defensive decline, I try to be objective. But I keep looking at Jeter through “late 1990s colored glasses”.

Watching Fielder round third and going home is like watching a cow on ice deliver a waiter’s tray of meatloaf dinners to a party of 8.

So Mo is thinking of retiring.  Honestly, it’s probably for the best.  This is a cash strapped team looking to cut costs and maintain guys like Cano.  The best place to trim payroll on this team is in the bullpen.  There are a LOT of more effective ways I can think of to spend $25M-$30M than on two relievers. 

I’d still love to have Mo back, especially since he probably won’t factor into $189 at all, but it has to be for a realistic price.  He’s a 43 year old closer coming off major surgery.  He can’t get the guaranteed money he’s been getting, that’s just silly.

I have a hard time keeping a straight face given a showdown called Fister Vs Bumgarner

[25] Selig needs to get on top of that.

Man. I wanted to stay away from baseball because I’m still so goddamn bummed about the ALCS. But I get a whiff of a 0-0 game in the seventh and I tune right in. I’m a dirty, dirty baseball whore.

[24]  But Soriano will probably opt out, and then Mo would probably be on a one year deal that, as you say, wouldn’t affect the 2014 austerity budget.  So it would seem they could pay him $10-15MM for 2013 if he wanted to come back.

I hope this is just a little bit of negotiating by Mo, because it would suck if he were done.  At the same time, I don’t want to see him come back and be less than great, or get hurt again, so…. I don’t know.

So I know it isn’t an RBI when a run scores on a double play, but is it an earned run?

edit: according to Fox’s stat line people, no.

Of course its an earned run.  The pitcher put the guys on.  Any doubt check tonight’s box score.

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