Just as a refresher on the significance of these rates, here is a quick primer from Steve Slowinski of Fangraphs Sabermetric Library:
A line drive produces 1.26 runs/out, while fly balls produce .13 R/O and groundballs produce .05 R/O. In other words, batters want to hit lots of line drives and fly balls, while pitchers want to make batters hit groundballs.
- Players that don’t hit many balls in the air (higher GB% with lower FB% and LD%) generally have higher BABIPs and batting averages, but they have limited power.
Derek Jeter has always been in that second category, with high groundball rates, high BABIP’s, and a high batting average. That said, he tended to keep the grounders at a manageable level and hit enough balls in the air to slug over .450 and provide a balanced batting line. However, his groundball rate escalated drastically in 2010, and is literally off the charts in 2011, as you can see above. Unless he finds a way to reduce the rate at which he is hitting the ball on the ground, the best he can hope for is some better luck leading to an improved batting average, but not much else.
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