Sunday, July 10, 2011

How great is Jeter?

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.

Examples:

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:

.305 average
3340 hits
2000 runs
250 homers
1275 RBI's
5 Gold Gloves
5 Championships

No doubt first ballot Hall of Famer.

12 comments:

  1. I think I'm wrong about Biggio - he falls into the 2nd tier. Maybe Posada is a third tier player?

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  2. Biggios definitely not ahead of Jeter.

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  3. I think your definition of first tier players is a bit flawed and focuses solely on power. Homers are a definite part of the game, but getting on base, running up pitch counts, and scoring runs (espescially as a leadoff or number two hitter) are also important parts of the game.

    I think the only true way to evaluate how great a player is, would be to compare him to other players who've played the position. First Basemen and Outfielders are supposed to produce power. A short stop is supposed to play "D". According to baseball-ref.com, Jeter is currently 24th all time in runs scored. If your projection of 2000 runs holds, only Henderson, Cobb, Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, Rose, and Mays would have more.

    Your hits projection may be a bit low ball. Let's assume he mirrors his first half of the season and picks up another 78 hits, that leaves 259 (roughly 130 hits per season) for two more seasons. However, your low ball prediction would still get him top ten all time in hits.


    To say Derek Jeter is one of the least talented is a bit of a week argument also. ESPN had an article that shared some interesting info. He's one of six players to make the 3,000 hit club in 17 or less seasons (Pete Rose, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb and Paul Waner are the others). He's also one of 5 players to have 190+ hit seasons 10 or more times (Pete Rose has 13, Ty Cobb 12, Stan Musial and Ichiro each have 10).

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  4. Where is my love? You seen how much my baseball card is worth?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T206_Honus_Wagner

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  5. Bro, can you imagine hitting 420?????

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  6. Honus Wagner Fan 420July 11, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    No, but I can imagine smoking it.

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  7. Nothing replaces huge run production. Guys who can hit 40+/120+ are in their own category.

    I didn't mention Ichiro. He's actually a better player than Jeter, just without enough time in MLB to have comparable career stats.

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  8. Ichiro 162 game average:

    .328
    226 (!) hits
    106 runs
    39 steals

    He started in the league when he was 27 and he currently has 2345 hits.

    Also, hes won a Gold Glove every single year hes played (10 consecutive).

    If he had started his career in America, he may have retired with something like 4000 hits and 15 Gold Gloves.

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  9. I agree that Ichiro is an awesome player. I'm also willing to concede that Ichiro is a hit machine and monster outfielder. But remember...Ichiro is an outfielder who doesn't hit homers. Based on your "power prduction" theory, he's only a second tier player.

    Jeter's accomplishments are only matched or surpassed by guys who have made the All Century Team (Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Pete Rose, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Paul Waner) and a guy who is well on his way to a lock for first ballot entry to the Hall of Fame (Ichiro). That has to make him a top tier player.

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  10. My gold gloves are legit. Unlike Jeter, who won his off a popularity contest.

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  11. Ichiro's InterpreterJuly 12, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    sorry, what he meant to say was he respects Derek Jeter very much and congratulates him on his accomplishment. What did I tell you about speaking without me around????

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  12. Yeah, I'm saying Ichiro is a better tier 2 player than Jeter.

    If Ichiro had played his whole career in the States, he may have been the rare player to be tier 1 without putting up great power numbers.

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