Derek Jeter: New Mansion Or Not, This Is A Big Year For Jeter With The Yankees
Derek Jeter Has To Prove Himself To The Yankees And Baseball Fans Around The World In 2011
Derek Jeter is in the twilight of his career. We know it, the Yankees know it and Jeter knows it. He is 36 years old, and is facing the most important year of his career in 2011. He had the worst year of his career in 2010, and there was the whole nasty contract negotiation that took place this winter.
For the first time in Jeter's career, he looked old. He couldn't catch up to fastballs, he was fooled on breaking balls and there were some boo's raining down on him.
In case you forgot, Jeter hit .270 last year with a .340 on-base percentage and .370 slugging percentage. His average was his worst full season average in his career. His on-base percentage was by far the worst in his career, his previous low was .363 in 2008. His .370 slugging percentage was his first season under .405.
That's just what he did on offense. Defensively he has been one of the worst shortstops in baseball for a long time. And the first person to throw out gold gloves as a serious measure of defense gets banned from the website. According to fangraphs, which uses the advanced metrics to measure player stats, Jeter has been 113.4 runs worse than an average fielder throughout his career. His Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) for his career is -42.4.
There have been rumblings for a long time that eventually Jeter will be moved off shortstop sometime before the end of this new contract. He should have moved off their years ago, but because he is the captain he was untouchable. It took an offensive collapse for the rumblings about him to get louder.
Jeter has to reinvent himself this year, otherwise things are only going to get worse for him. He will start the year as the Yankees leadoff hitter, but if he plays like he did last year he could find himself near the bottom of the order before the season is over.
Jeter is a prideful man and really loves playing baseball so he should be given the benefit of the doubt, but players who are in their late 30's don't usually get better.
It will be a noteworthy year for Jeter and the Yankees, whether they win or lose.
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