Full Grades for Derek Jeter in His Long-Awaited 2013 New York Yankees Comeback

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Full Grades for Derek Jeter in His Long-Awaited 2013 New York Yankees Comeback

New York Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter returned to the diamond Thursday for the first time since Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS.

The Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals, 8-4, as Jeter went 1-for-4 with a single and an RBI in his 2013 debut.

It wasn't great, but the team won, and that's all New York fans care about.

However, Jeter left the game for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning due to quad tightness, according to YES clubhouse reporter Meredith Marakovits.

Let's take a deeper look into Jeter's first game back in pinstripes.

 

Agility/Movement

For the most part, Jeter seemed to be moving pretty well when running. The biggest indication of this was while he was running down the baseline for the infield single.

The one thing that was noticeable on his run down the line was he didn't appear to be favoring anything, although he wasn't going full speed, either.

With any player coming off an ankle injury, it's going to take time to get comfortable getting out of the batter's box.

As far as his movement in the batter's box, there didn't seem to be any problems.

We'll get a more accurate read of his agility and movement when he's playing at short, but out of the box, he looks good.

Grade: A-

 

Strike-Zone Recognition

Jeter is known to be an aggressive hitter, so the fact that he swung at the first pitch is no surprise.

He liked what he saw, and he swung at it. It was a strike; he just got on top of it a little and drove it into the ground.

Jeter did some damage in the fifth inning, although it was one of those plays that will fly under the radar. He grounded out to second, allowing Ichiro Suzuki to advance to third.

The Royals then intentionally walked Robinson Cano, and Vernon Wells subsequently drew a walk. Three Yankees followed that up with hits, allowing four runs to score and giving the Yankees the lead.

His sixth-inning RBI groundout was also something to like. With a runner on third base, Jeter knew his job was to get the runner in.

He didn't try to do anything fancy. Jeter put the ball in play and helped bring in Luis Cruz.

It put the Yankees up, 8-4, and allowed them to go on cruise control the rest of the game.

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Jeter knows what his job is as a No. 2 hitter. Although he was only 1-for-4, he did exactly what he was supposed to do.

Grade: B+

 

Swing Mechanics

This isn't Jeter's first rodeo, so swing mechanics should be the least of anyone's concern.

He's still seeing the ball well and advancing runners.

You have to like his aggressiveness in his first at-bat, showing no signs of a problem.

As he gets adjusted back in the lineup, more hits will come his way, and he'll become a key cog for the Yankees in their AL East run.

Grade: B

 

Overall

While it would have been nice to see Jeter play the field, I can understand the Yankees being hesitant to let him do so in his first game back.

Once we see what kind of range he exhibits as shortstop, we will be able to more accurately gauge his status.

Batting-wise, there's nothing to worry about.

Jeter is adjusting to facing big-league pitching, and he'll work out the minor kinks over the next few games.

By the time the second half begins, we should start seeing Jeter do more of what we're accustomed to seeing—getting multi-hit games.

Grade: B+

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