Derek Jeter’s 2010 season can really be divided into three parts so far:
First 23 games: .333/.367/.510
Next 16 games: .169/.234/.211
Last 9 games: .415/.455/.585
A lot has been made about the struggles of Derek Jeter this year. But even after a rough stretch in the early parts of May, Jeter is still hitting a very solid .294 on the season. He has the sixth most hits in the American League and is on pace to have the best fielding percentage of his career. Granted, he has been slow going to his left. He is also on pace to strike out about 100 times. But for a guy about to turn 36, Jeter is having another typical Jeterian season.
It really is amazing how well Jeter has played and how consistent he has been over his career. This year, he is on pace for over 200 hits, 100 runs, and 35 doubles. It would be Jeter’s eighth 200-hit season and thirteenth 100-run season. No one has ever done that.
He has also been remarkably durable. He has only had one major DL stint (thanks, Ken Huckaby) in fifteen seasons. Only four active players have a higher career WAR than Jeter’s (69.7). And of the top 15 in active career WAR, Jeter is the only one without a 30 home run season.
So yeah, you get it. Derek Jeter is a good player.
But what has gone unnoticed is that he has actually been a lot better in 2010 than people think. I have read a lot of negative articles about Jeter (and Mariano Rivera) this year. People tend to think that they are losing their touch. And while they are aging, they seem to be right on track with their career norms.