Now, at age 37, Derek Jeter is contending with a new impossible standard. Derek Jeter 2011 is being compared to young Derek Jeter. The Derek Jeter who wasn't good enough then but still managed to amount Hall of Fame numbers, improve his defense, and win a ton of titles in the process. Aside from Barry Bonds, not many ball players put up numbers better than the numbers they put up in seasons played in their mid 20s. Its an unfair comparison, but the Yankees Captain is asked to do exactly that. Like other points in his career, he doesn't get mad about it. He doesn't cry about it in the press. He goes to work, and then he produces.
While Mr. D continues to send other writers at PTU slanderous emails about the production (or lack thereof) of Yankees captain Derek Jeter, the man put together an impressive game yesterday going 4-6 with 2 homers. He saw his batting average jump to a respectable .276 for a short stop and placing him 11th in short stop batting average. The Captain is also currently top 10 amongst all short stops in hits, runs and even home runs (although that isn’t saying much given that aside from guys like Tulowitski, Gonzalez, or Hanley Ramirez, there aren’t many power hitters at the position).
I will concede that yesterday’s game will probably be the best performance at the plate we see Jeter put up this year and not something that will be the norm. However, I think it’s fair to say he isn’t as bad as his first few weeks indicated either. You can expect his year to finish with about 175 hits, 65 RBI, over 100 runs scored, and somewhere around a 275 BA…all very respectable numbers for a shortstop at the top of your lineup. He'll probably be top 10 in all meaningful stats. The Yanks may contend for another title. Then when next year comes, he gets to try and prove his value again.