• Jeter’s Road Woes To Be Cured?

    Posted by on December 27th, 2005 · Comments (6)

    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.

    Comments on Jeter’s Road Woes To Be Cured?

    1. Raf
      December 27th, 2005 | 1:55 pm

      You’d have to look at his numbers since 1996 in order to detect a trend.

      Quick and dirty analysis shows that his OPS declined from 1999-2002, and again from 2003-04…

    2. DownFromNJ
      December 27th, 2005 | 7:10 pm

      One wrinkle.

      I don’t have Jeter’s numbers when leading off a game, but he hit .335/.410/.558 when leading off an inning. A lot of those at bats are road games in the 1st inning.

    3. December 27th, 2005 | 11:13 pm

      Raf – you’re looking at all of China to find the answer as to whether or not one Chinese person has a belly ache.

      First of all, you’re ignoring home/road splits completely. Secondly, you need to make those OPS marks league relative – unless it’s a huge drop, like 60 points, as we see in the H/R splits from 2004 and 2005. When a drop is that large, it’s pretty clear there’s some performance issue involved somewhere.

      Down, think about what you said. At best, it’s 81 ABs – out of the 300-something that he gets on the road each year. Even if he batted .500 in those 81 ABs, it meant he was terrible in the other 200-something.

    4. Raf
      December 28th, 2005 | 12:16 am

      First of all, you’re ignoring home/road splits completely.
      Home .302 .371 .393
      Away .327 .370 .465

      Home .284 .367 .390
      Away .296 .373 .419

      Home .333 .384 .484
      Away .315 .383 .478

      Home .329 .419 .559
      Away .369 .456 .545

      Home .338 .420 .475
      Away .340 .411 .486

      Home .330 .399 .542
      Away .294 .358 .426

      Year: Maj. AB in order
      1996: 9
      1997: 1
      1998: 2
      1999: 2
      2000: 2
      2001: 2
      2002: 2
      2003: 2
      2004: 2

      You may want to take a look @ his numbers, courtesy of Retrosheet…

      The more numbers you have to play with, the more accurate.

    5. Seamus
      December 28th, 2005 | 6:57 am

      Raf – you say he has declined since 1999. That is an arbitrary year to pick when it is in fact his career year. You might as well say the sky is blue. Whatever the case, while Jeter seems to have fluctuated at home some he has overall maintained or improved at the Stadium. Meanwhile, there appears to at least be a two year dip in his performance on the road. It is significant enough to be concerned but I wonder if its possibly just coincidence or a sign of a more imminent decline?

    6. Raf
      December 28th, 2005 | 10:42 am

      It is significant enough to be concerned but I wonder if its possibly just coincidence or a sign of a more imminent decline?

      1996: 3
      1997: 10
      1998: 35
      1999: 77
      2000: 35
      2001: 32
      2002: 23
      2003: 24
      2004: 14
      2005: 28

      He peaked in 1999, had an off year (by his standards) in 2004, bounced back nicely this year. I threw out 1995 (small sample size), and he averages 28 RCAA. Is 30 RCAA out of the question?

      I wouldn’t be worried of a decline just yet.

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