The comments to the previous post (h/t Steve) brought up an issue that I felt deserved its own time in the sun. For much of the last two seasons, Derek Jeter’s penchant for hitting into double plays has prompted me to contend that he should be moved out of the 2 hole to the lead-off spot, with Johnny Damon sliding down a notch. Looking at the numbers this morning, I think the statistical evidence supports the idea.
I am making a few assumptions about lineups to make this point. You want your better OBP player to bat first, with a better contact hitter batting second. You would also prefer to have your more powerful hitter batting second rather than first. I am also assuming that Jeter and Damon are equally skilled bunters, such that the ability to move a runner over does not come into play here.
When considering these factors, it seems obvious that a switch should be made. The one element that supports keeping things as they are is Damon’s speed, as he is a much better base stealer than Jeter at this point. However, the remainder of the data points in the opposite direction. Unless Jeter’s poor season was a sign of a steep decline, Derek is better at reaching base than Damon, with a 30 point edge in OBP over their careers. However, Damon is less prone to the strikeout (12.1 K% to 17.1 for Jeter) and is significantly better at keeping the ball off the ground (1.33 GB/FB compared to 2.36). Essentially, this means that Damon is able to put up similar numbers to Jeter while making more contact and hitting fewer ground balls, both qualities that help avoid rally killing double plays and strikeouts from the #2 slot. Finally, Damon has a bit more power than Jeter, another element that suggests flipping them would lead to more runs.
I think the change would make plenty of sense, but it is unlikely to happen. Jeter is seen as the prototypical 2 hitter, and Damon has been leading off for his entire career. I doubt Joe Girardi is going to do anything novel at the top of the order.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
- get your lover back on Contact Us
- Dorothy Silvan on Pineda’s Torn Labrum, or Does the lemon law apply to baseball?
- tao of badass on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- tube launch review on Why Has Attendance Fallen Year-To-Year?
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees