Yankee Captain, World Series MVP, ASG MVP, Rookie of the Year. Derek Jeter has had a much lauded career, and certainly has never been lacking recognition. However, for all of his illustrious accomplishments and accolades, there is one award that he has yet to nab: American league MVP. He was close in 1998 and 1999, and had the award stolen from him by Justin Mourneau in 2006. However, 2009 may finally be his year, assuming that he maintains his stellar performance. Let us take a closer look at the numbers that support his case.
BA: .321 (5th in AL)
OBP: .398 (6th)
Runs: 63 (11th)
Hits: 123 (T-2nd)
BB: 46 (20th)
Power numbers are bound to be lower as a SS, so I thought it would be more instructive to compare him to other shortstops for those statistics.
SLG: .457 (2nd among AL SS)
2B: 19 (5th)
HR: 11 (T-1st)
RBI: 43 (4th- leader at 47) (remember, Derek is leading off)
UZR: 4.4 (3rd)
Jeter is third in AL WAR (Wins Above Replacement) behind Ben Zobrist and Joe Mauer, with Evan Longoria just behind him. Mauer, Jeter, and Longoria look to be the serious candidates, with each exceeding 19 million dollars in value thus far. I think Derek is likely to finish second, with Mauer finally winning the award that has eluded him for the last few seasons. However, if the Yankees make the postseason while the Rays and Twins are left at home, Jeter’s case will get stronger, as writers often like to reward players who helped lead their team to the playoffs. This is probably Derek Jeter’s last great chance at an MVP award. Hopefully the writers finally recognize his value.
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