On the season, Derek Jeter has amassed a first pitch strike percentage of 63.6% (the number is based on first pitches that are thrown for strikes, as well as the number of first pitches Jeter swings at). To Yankee fans, that rate is probably surprising in that it is so low. Based on how often Jeter seems to swing at first pitches in an at-bat, I would expect that number to be a lot closer to the top of the leader boards, but, in that regard, it is not even close to Carlos Gonzalez’s 72.7%. Perhaps the number would be higher if we were looking solely at first pitch swings.
While it would be nice for Jeter to maybe take a first pitch every now and then – as a leadoff hitter, it can only help those behind you to see a few offerings – I really cannot knock his first pitch strategy. When swinging at first pitches (most of them seem to be fastballs), Jeter is hitting .412/.444/.471 on the season, with 14 hits – 2 of them being doubles – and 5 RBI. I actually wonder how he has been able to do that. If you were a pitcher, wouldn’t you just start him off with first strike changeup (or something to that effect)? I mean, you know he is going to swing…
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