Mark Simon offers lots of good numbers on Derek Jeter – including this one:
Lastly, Jeter has had a remarkable knack at hitting ‘em where they ain’t, as evidenced by his Batting Average on Balls in Play.
When Jeter puts the ball in play, he’s among the game’s most accurate batsmen. Depending on which formula you use to calculate BABIP (one includes sacrifice flies, one doesn’t), Jeter’s BABIP of .358 (or .356) ranks among the very best in the sport.
Entering 2011, Jeter’s .314 batting average ranks 56th best since 1913 (we use that year because it’s the first year for which strikeout totals exist).
Strip away the home runs and strikeouts and Jeter’s BABIP is fifth-best in that span, a near match for Ichiro Suzuki and Rod Carew, two players best known for being able to guide the baseball into spots where they were most likely to get hits. Jeter’s prowess in that regard is one of the rare things about him that seems to go unrecognized.