Derek Jeter O/U .292 in 2012?

This is a blog post from Andrew Marchand from ESPN New York.com

In a recurring feature of the blog, we play the always fun “Over-Under Game,” in which we will set the line for a player and a stat and ask you to weigh in. 

The Player: Derek Jeter
The Number: .292 batting average
 

The Scouting Report: Jeter finished last year hitting .297, which included batting .327 in the second half of the season. For his career, Jeter is a .313 career hitter. 

Our insider colleague Dan Szymborski projects Jeter, soon-to-be-38, to hit just .268. For a more positive outlook, the legendary Bill James has Jeter at .291. I’ve set the number at .292 average, thinking like Vegas that will encourage people to weigh in on both sides. 

Personally, I would take the under with Jeter hitting in the .280s. 

I tend to agree with Marchand. Asking Jeter to hit around .300 at the age of 37. Jeter had a spectacular 2nd half last year batting. 327 with 3 HR, 37 RBI, and a .811 OPS so maybe he can carry that over to 2012.  Vote in the poll and state your thoughts in the comments on your expectations for Jeter in 2012.

About Matthew B

I am a student at William Paterson University and studying to become a sportswriter. I have a huge passion for the Yankees and love sharing my opinions on them. I can analyze every aspect of the Yankees very well. I am very active on Twitter so feel free to contact me there Twitter: @RAYROBERT9

Posted on February 25, 2012, in Personal Opinion, Player Analysis and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Put me down for a BA of about .275 and an OPS of about .720 +/-. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Yup! I’m with you on this one uyf1950. My thoughts are about .270 to .285…ok, it sound like a big difference right…nay nay nay! Only a very few hits make the difference because this year he will be cut back to about 500+/- ABs. Maybe less if he isn’t hitting very well. Hopefully he is hitting better.
      I don’t see Joe or Cashman putting up (like last year) with anyone holding the team back from the WS. The whole team (in key people) is getting to the point of no returns, age wise. It is now, or maybe some time in the next decade, when the older guys are long gone.
      Just think 2017…..
      Jeter-gone
      Mo-gone
      Tex-37
      Cano-33/moved to 3rd
      A-Rod-42 at DH
      Brett-33
      Curtis-36/long gone
      Swisher-36/long gone
      CC-gone
      Maybe a new core of 4, 5, or so guys will be the resurgence for the new Yankees. I do know, it will not include many of the guys on the team now.

  2. I voted over as I predict Jeter will be in the .290-.305 range. He’s clearly not the same hitter he once was and has lost a lot of pop as all players do in their late 30’s.

    However, I’m not ready to write him off yet. He was clearly distracted last yr in the 1st half and for the first time in his career admitted he felt pressure and anxiety coming to the ballpark every day. Once the 3,000 talk was over, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off his back and he was excellent in the 2nd half hitting .327/.383/.428/.811.

    And if Girardi is smart and gives Nunez more time at SS, resting Jeter vs a lot of RHP, it will only help DJ’s BA. Jeter still beats on LHP at an elite level hitting .349/.423/.523/.946 in 2011 but struggles vs RHP. Resting Jeter 30 games against the right RHPs will only serve to improve his average since he hit just .277/.329/.338/.667 against them.

  3. Fishjam…
    I don’t think you will believe me but, I truly hope you are right with Jeter. You have his stats down but, you missed one big stat…his age is a very major stat, along with another one to consider; Batting Average hitters go down before sluggers!
    I have made a statement for this year in regards to Jeter; I said, I hope to be wrong and he hits like hell this year…until he proves me right, I will stay off his back because the Yankees need him to be the Jeter of old. And I hope to say at the end of this year…”sorry I doubted you Jeter, nice year”! I don’t even care, he will not be hitting the rightys, if it helps the team, so be it!

  4. I’m not sure sure I buy into the explanation that part of Jeter’s problem in the 1st half of last year was feeling the pressure of going for 3000 hits. That may have been a small issue for him but I don’t think his performance can be explained that easily.

    I say that for one simple reason look at his numbers for 2010 and even the 1st half of 2010 there should have been no pressure or virtually no pressure on him to reach 3000 hits then. But his numbers were pretty dismal the entire season and even worse away from Yankees Stadium. So I guess the way I see it, in the last 4 quarters (2 full season’s) he has had only 1 good quarter. And putting aside his sporadic offensive performance at he ages of 36 and 37 these last 2 seasons is his loss of range defensively. By all accounts his range has continued to decrease and is only going to get worse over the next year or two.

    BTW, please don’t anyone bring up that concern over his next contract effected his performance in 2010. Because if it did that’s completely unprofessional on his part considering he was in the process of finishing one of the richest contracts in MLB history $189MM.

    Like oldYankee said, I hope I’m wrong but with very, very, very few exceptions 38 and especially 39 year old SS just don’t make it. That’s just my opinion.

    • UYF – Whether you buy it or not, it happened. Not to say it was the only reason but it was clearly a factor. From the time he showed up at ST, the guy had to deal with intense media every day up to number 3,000. Everywhere he turned somewhere stuck a microphone in his face asking about 3,000. There was talk that he had to get it at home, there were special “marked” balls used in his At Bats, family, friends & dignitaries at games waiting for the moment. There were press conferences before and after games asking about him.

      For the first time in his career he admitted to feeling pressure, that it took the fun out of the game and put the attention on him as oppossed to the team. For someone who was always said to be able to block out the pressure, this was the 1st time he felt it and he struggled with it.

      Anxiety plays a huge factor in a ballplayer’s performance. Look at ARod’s and other players struggles leading up to milestone hits/HRs and ARod’s clear struggles in his first couple of post-seasons with the Yanks. ARod was the most dominant hitter in the game yet he felt the weight of the world in the post-season and struggled to perform.

      Look at this excerpt from the Daily News 7/9/11….

      “So many of his predecessors in baseball’s club of clubs have said achieving 3,000 hits is not unlike climbing Everest, especially when it comes to those excruciating last few steps before reaching the summit.

      “Unimaginable pressure” is the way George Brett, the 18th player to join the club, on Sept. 30, 1992, put it. ”

      It was definitely a big factor. It doesn’t mean Jeter hasn’t lost some of his ability – he clearly has and is only a shell of his former self. All players fade with age and the biggest thing Jeter has lost is his pop. He’s mostly just a singles hitter now and has big problems vs RHP. Your projection of .275 and mine of around .295 is about the difference between 10 base hits over the course of a season so we aren’t far off.

      Binder-boy Girardi knows Jeter struggles vs RHP and will rest him against 20-25 of these pitchers which will only help his BA. Our predictions of his BA are merely our opinions but I totally disagree that the pressure of 3,000 wasn’t a real thing that affected his performance.

      • fishjam, I respect your opinion. And let’s say I partially agree that there was pressure on him to some degree. I just do NOT think it was the main reason for his poor performance. Did he have specially marked balls balls when he came to bat in 2010? Of course not. Or even for the first one or two months of the 2011 season, no. Sure he faced media scrutiny, I won’t deny that. But heck you make $189MM over the course of a contract, your the self appointed face of the “GREATEST” baseball franchise ever, what do you expect.

        Personally I think there was and is something a lot less sinister at work to explain Jeter’s drop off in performance both offensively and defensively. It’s his age.

        Now don’t get me wrong the Yankee fan in me hopes Jeter hits well over .300 a bunch of extra base hits, steals a bunch of bases and gobbles up everything with 20 feet hit to him at shortstop. But the realist in me sees no chance of that happening or anything close to that. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again 38, 39 and 40 year old shortstops just don’t make it in this league. And at some point they wind up being a detriment to the team.

        I have 3 big fears when it comes to Jeter one he has no control over but the other 2 are solely in his hands.
        1st) And my post early today eluded to it. Some fans consider Jeter above reproach. He’s a ball player just like so many others. And when he struggles to do his job he should be taken to task.
        2nd) He will exercise his 2014 option A season in which he will turn 40 during.
        3rd) That he will want another contract from the Yankees. Putting the Yankees management in the very uncomfortable position of drawing a line in the sand. And the sad part in my view is there would be fans that would side with Jeter in that confrontation.

        I’ve seen my share of great Yankees overstay their welcome in the line up one or two years to long. During my lifetime Mantle was the prime example of that. And in my opinion contrary to Jeter’s recent public statement that he “will play as long as he feels capable of playing at a high level and having fun. Says both of those conditions still exist”. That says a lot to me. Far to many athletes have trouble recognizing when they are not capable of playing at a high level until it’s to late.

  5. Well uyf1950…
    You have stepped into it now, did you not know, Jeter is the saint of most Yankee fans?
    I don’t know if it is because we have seen some of the real good HOF players over our life time. And we have many favorite players (we have seen) from great to near great over the years. When I look at Jeter, I see a very good, one and half dimensional SS. Not a 1st round HOF SS, although he is the type that make it into the HOF…because of his personality. There is no doubt in my mind, he is the best offensive SS, to play for the Yankees but, not a 1st ballot HOF SS…let alone as some have said…unamisse pick.
    If he were to get 100% of the votes for the hall, what does that say about the much greater players like Ruth, Mays, Mantle, Walter Mathews, Ty Cobb and others that were the truly Great players in baseball…none of them ever got 100% of the votes.
    There are and have been over the years that showed how Jeter is a very good SS but, has been vastly over rated over the years.
    Some in New York had the temerity to say Jeter was a better SS then A-Rod even after A-Rod came to the Yankees. Some reporters and Fans alike said, why should Jeter move to accommodate A-Rod, Jeter was a better SS and it is his team. Real fans know that was all BS. For over 8 years A-Rod was the best around SS in the world and maybe the best ever.
    Being a Yankee fan I will cheer for any player wearing the pin stripes, and wish him the best of everything but, I will not close my eyes to what I see or what I know.
    Let us hope all the Yankees, have a very productive and healthy year on their way to being World Champions in 2012! 🙂

    • oldyankee – I don’t know about Jeter being a saint. I do know some consider him above reproach. But I’ve always said “I call them like I see them”, and Jeter is no different when it comes to sharing my opinion.

    • Ken –

      Jeter is far from a saint but we do look foolish as Yankee fans constanly complaining about Jeter. He’s an aging player, past his prime – of course his numbers are going to drop. But we are still a better team with him at SS than Nunez or Pena.

      Fans that booed him back in 2008 when he was 0 for 30-something look like idiots. Complaining about Jeter leads fans from other teams to call us typical spoiled Yankee fans. I work with tons of Boston & Mets fans and when I start to criticize Jeter at all they all say “we’ll take him for the last 17 years!” I work with a Pirate fan and he almost smacked me in the face one time when I complained about Jeter’s range to his left. Try having a losing record for 20 something years.

      Not that he’s above reproach but for guys like Jeter & Mariano who have given so much to us fans and to the organization over the last 17 years……16 playoff appearances, 7 World Series trips – 5 World titles….And they have both done it with total class and professionalism and will die as Yankees, never considering another organization and providing us with so much enjoyment over the yrs – I do find it difficult to speak badly about them.

      I grew up with the Yankees teams of the 80’s and early 90’s and experienced nearly my whole childhood without the Yankees even making the playoffs. Things changed when these 2 winners joined the team and I for one am eternally grateful for the last 17 years of enjoyment they have provided me. So while I try to be a realist about their performance, my feelings make it difficult to say anything derogotory about Mo or Derek and I shudder when other Yankee fans do it thinking of all the good these 2 players have done.

      • Fishjam…
        You have stated you opinion a few times and I respect your opinion but this line of yours tells the whole story;
        “Things changed when these 2 winners joined the team and I for one am eternally grateful for the last 17 years of enjoyment they have provided me.”
        You were writing of Jeter and Mo but, do you not see what it says? It says, (to me anyhow)that without Jeter and Mo the Yanks couldn’t have those WS. Respectively…in truth, Jeter and Mo couldn’t and didn’t, win those WS…the team did!
        That is my problem with the unreasonable, untouchable, Jeter fans. Most of them don’t see anything but what the press tells them. Like…no forget it.
        I am not trying to burst the Jeter bubble, I just see things a little differently. If one is good for the team fine, when they are no longer effectively doing anything for the team, they are gone (in my mind). You may say that I am too hard on the players but, you are wrong…they make an ungodly amount of money (and earned it) playing a kids game.

        • Ken –

          Obviously Jeter and Mo weren’t the whole reason why the team has been so successful the last 17 yrs. However, they have both been indispensable and will be 1st ballot Hall of Famers when they retire. There is NO doubt in my mind the team would not have won all those games and titles without those 2 stars.

          I totally agree with your line, “if one is good for the team fine, when they are no longer effectively doing anything for the team, they are gone.”

          That line is absolutely correct but neither of those players are at that point. They have both lost a lot of their abilities but Jeter is still better than most SS’s in MLB and Rivera is still one of the best closers in baseball. You have been unneccessarily trying to show both of them the door since 2008/2009 while never once mentioning anything about ARod retiring despite his constant injuries, decreased production and – to use your word – “ungodly” amount of money due to him until he’s 42 years old.

          You have to be consistent with your theory otherwise it just look like you have a vendetta for Jeter. Like Jeter and to a lesser extent Mo, ARod has lost a great deal of his ability, however all 3 of them are still better than anything else available in the organization at their respective positions. Unlike Jeter and Mo, ARod has 6 more yrs on his contract at over $20M per year. When will you start calling for him to retire?

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