Watching Derek Jeter this year is like watching him a decade ago. He still has all the intangibles. Patient hitting, bat speed, leadership in the field among other striking qualities. The most impressive thing though about Jeter’s final season, is how he is handling it off the field. With his mature, veteran presence, Jeter exemplifies how a Major League ball player should carry himself. He has had this quality ever since he came into the league as a skinny rookie from Kalamazoo, Michigan.
I, myself am not a stats person, but Jeter’s stats have also looked like the same old Captain that Yankees’ fans have come to know, granted, he has played in less games this year. However, when he has played, Jeter is batting .270 with an on base percentage of .362. With a new lineup around him this season, Jeter has adjusted to being back on the field regularly for the first time in over a year. He has always been a very intelligent hitter, but this year he has really relied on his plate discipline to draw walks and score more runs for the team.
The one issue that seems to hinder Jeter is his foot speed. This is a huge issue defensively as we know shortstop is a very demanding position in terms of lateral foot speed. Yankees’ fans know Jeter does not have this in his repertoire anymore. I argue though that Jeter is still needed out on the field because of his leadership ability. He lets younger infielders know where to position themselves for certain hitters especially in the new age it seems of the shifts in the MLB. Once Jeter leaves, there will never be another shortstop quite like him in New York in my opinion. So Yankees’ fans should enjoy this season while it lasts.