Who Is Playing Shortstop For The Yankees, And What Have They Done With Washed-Up Derek Jeter?

derek jeter

Photo: AP

Don’t look now, but 37-year old Derek Jeter is off to one of the best starts in his career, hitting .416 with four home runs (.439 OBP, 1.088 OPS) through the Yankees’ first 17 games.How improbably is that?

In 2010, Jeter hit .270 with just 10 home runs (.340 OBP, .710 OPS). And in the first half of 2011 it was even worse.

On July 8, Jeter was hitting .257 with 2 home runs (.308 OBP, .636 OPS). Those are middle infielder numbers, if it is the 1970s, and the middle infielder can play defence like Ozzie Smith. It isn’t, and Jeter cannot.

But then on July 9 of last year, Jeter went 5-5, including a home run, his 3,000th career hit. Since then, a span of 93 games, Jeter is hitting .356 with eight home runs (.392 OBP, .887 OPS). Those are all-star numbers, at any position, in any decade.

Can he keep it up? So far this season, Jeter has a .418 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). That number should be closer to .340. So he isn’t going to hit .400 (duh). But that is not far off from where it was during the peak of his career.

So maybe we should cancel that obit for Jeter’s career.

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