Following his 4-for-5 performance in Monday’s win over the Rangers, Derek Jeter is now hitting .411, which is good for second best in the AL (Big Sloppy is at .441) and third best in all of ball (Matt Kemp is at .460). His .456 wOBA is fifth best in the game, and he leads the majors in hits with 30. Sure this is a VERY small sample size — 16 games, a season makes not — but after his start last year this is like sex for Yankee fans.
Let me put this in perspective. Through 16 games (79 plate appearances) this season, Jeter is hitting .411/.436/.644/1.080 with four home runs, 13 RBI, five doubles and 14 runs scored. Through the first month of the 2011 season — 23 games, 103 plate appearances — Derek was at .250/.311/.272/.582 with 23 hits (only two going for extra bases), no homers, six RBI, two doubles and 13 runs scored.
I’ll spare you the pain of going through the “he didn’t get his ___th (insert stat) until so-and-so date last season” routine, I’m sure you’ve been beaten over the head with that enough the past few days, but remember he finished with six homers in 2011. Also, (and I realize this is a SSS, but) he’s hitting righties better than he did last year.
My only gripe with Jeter’s performance this year is he doesn’t really walk much — his 5.1 BB% is the lowest it’s ever been, but it should even out with 146 games to play. Then again, if he’s OBPing .436 with just four walks I should keep my big yapper shut and let him play ball.
In typical Jeter fashion he found a way to silence the doubters (myself included) and prove why he is one of the game’s elite.
Here are a couple more interesting stats courtesy of my man Jeff Quagliata (@YEStoresearch):
- Monday’s tilt was the 42nd 4-plus-hit game of Jeet’s career. He missed his fifth career five-hit game after striking out in the ninth.
- With his second run last night, Jeter tied Paul Molitor for 18th place on the all-time runs list with his 1,782nd run.
What I’m Looking Forward To: Watching Jeter play this season out. I know it’s still very early but this could be the year he finally gets that elusive MVP Award.
What I’m Not Looking Forward To: The first pea-brained beat writer to wonder aloud how Jeter got his game back a few months prior to his 38th birthday.