For the last two years, Derek Jeter has forgotten how to be an effective batter in road games. Check the stats:
Now, usually, when you see a guy batting 60-something points better at home than on the road for two years in a row, you think there’s something about the home park that makes this guy better – like a friendly wall, faster turf, or maybe even sign stealing.
But, then how do you explain 2002 and 2003 for Jeter? Back then, Derek was actually more effective on the road than when at home (where he was fine). This is the key to this mystery for me. Something happened in 2004 that caused this trend.
In 2004, Derek Jeter became the Yankees lead-off batter. And, since that time, he’s been almost Womack-like with the stick when in the road gray’s. Why? Four months ago, I took some guesses at the reason why. And, thinking more about it now, I want to say that it’s just a mental thing.
The beauty of this whole situation is that Jeter will not be the Yankees lead-off batter in 2006 – now that Johnny Damon is on board. It will now be interesting to see if Derek improves with the bat, overall, next season as a result of this move.