You're going to hear a lot of Jeter ass-kissing over the next couple days now that hes reached 3000 hits - and rightfully so - but this now begs the question: how truly great of a player is Derek Jeter? I'll try to answer this objectively although (1) I'm a Yankee fan, (2) Jeter is my favorite player, and (3) PTU is a blog run by some assholes from New York.
So where does he fall among the all-time greats? He is the best of the 2nd tier all-time greats.
Considering the great players of the last 20 - 30 years (I'm not going back to like 1911 and mentioning all these guys that even your great-grandfather is too young to remember), the first tier would include guys like: Bonds, Pujols, A-Rod, Griffey, Frank Thomas, Manny, etc. The main thing that separates these guys from guys like Jeter is their ability to hit for power. When Jeter retires, each of these guys will have 300+ more home runs than Jeter, and also a shitload more RBI's. Of course, it's important to note that many of these guys have been linked to roids.
The second tier, where Jeter falls, would consists of guys like Derek, Gwynn, Boggs, George Brett, and Paul Molitor. Guys with 3000+ hits, tons of runs, a high average, great clutch play... aka everything except tremendous power numbers. I would put Jeter a nod above the other guys in this category, including a player like George Brett, who is probably the most comparable statistically. Jeter's offensive stats, his Gold Gloves, his clutch play, and his championships (5) make him probably the best tier 2 player of all-time.
Tier 3 would include some really, really good players, though not quite all-time great. As an example, Craig Biggio would arguably fall into this category.
Among the 28 players to reach 3000 hits, Jeter is one of the least talented - though that's not much of a criticism, considering how great the rest of the players are. In that group, he's somewhere in the bottom 25%.
Projecting the rest of his career, Jeter will probably retire with roughly the following numbers:
5 Gold Gloves
No doubt first ballot Hall of Famer.