The Yankees MVP this season is not Mark Teixeria. It is neither CC Sabathia nor Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees MVP is the captain Derek Jeter. When you watch games every night, Jeter isn't the guy, who gets praised by the announcers.
Most of the praise and deservedly so goes Mark Teixeria whether it is for one of his monster home runs into the second deck at Little League Park in the Bronx or his gold glove defense that Yankees fan can't believe (we thought Tino Martinez was amazing than there were the Giambi years).
Derek Jeter has quietly put up solid numbers this season. He leads the team in hitting with a .316 BA. Jeter has a good OBP of .389, which is second best to A-Rod. This season Derek has been running more and has 19 stolen bases, while only being caught for times.
Obviously Little League Park in the Bronx has benefitted Jeter this season. Maybe the only Yankee to benefit more is Johnny Damon, who has more first row home runs in league by far (that is not really a stat).
This season has been the most important one for the 35-year-old shortstop. Fans and probably executives feared that at 35, Jeter would start to slow down. However he has improved his defense this season especially going to his left.
He might win a gold glove this year with some help from Mark Teixeria. He also has run the bases very well this season being more aggressive. Jeter has been brilliant in the leadoff spot for manager Joe Girardi.
According to FanGraphs, Derek Jeter has the 4th best WAR in the American League (Ben Zorbrist, Mauer, Longoria). I am not big into baseball sabermetrics, however I always have found wins above replacement interesting ever since I read Money Ball.
Although win shares are not a perfect science, I think stats like this should benefit hitters like Derek Jeter who don't hit for power.
When I see Jeter fourth on a list, I get excited. In my completely bias opinion if Derek Jeter keeps hitting (maybe raising his batting average), he can win the AL MVP. He was screwed in 2006 when Justin Morneau won.
Maybe, just maybe, the baseball writers award Derek Jeter the MVP because there is no candidate who stands above the rest of the AL.
Derek Jeter has been the face of the Yankees and this year he has raised his game. I know he is the MVP of the Yankees, and maybe enough writers can find him the MVP of the AL. Here's to Derek Jeter, who is everything good about the game of baseball.
No steroid scandals, respect for the game, runs hard down the line on a ground ball to the second baseman. Derek Jeter is my MVP.