If anyone on the Yankees had a tale of two seasons, it was Derek Jeter. In April, May, and June, he had the following wOBA/wRC+ splits: .261/56; .321/97; .923/77. Once the summer got into full swing, though, so did Jeter: .352/118; .398/149; .344/113 for the months of July, August, and September. I’ll admit that for most of the last two seasons, I’ve been one of Jeter’s biggest detractors. I was, however, especially happy when Jeter righted the ship in the second half of this season. I’m hoping he can ride that second half success into 2012 and keep up his production. What should we watch in 2012? Like I said for Brett Gardner, what we’ve got to watch is more approached based.
By both the BIS and Pitch F/x data, Jeter has dropped off significantly against the fastball. This is disconcerting because he had usually been pretty strong against the old number one. When you think about it for more than a second, though, it makes sense. After all, Jeter is an older player and older players’ bats tend to slow down. It is worth noting that Jeter did very well against curveballs in 2010 and 2011, so he is compensating somewhere. We’ll have to see if pitchers change up their approaches against Jeter and just start throwing him exclusively hard stuff.
One of the biggest problems for Jeter at the start of 2011 was his propensity to hit the ball on the ground. In April, nearly three-quarters of his batted balls ended up on the ground. Since ground balls usually end up as outs, Jeter’s production plummeted. Let’s keep an eye on Derek’s groundball rate and see how it affects his production in the early going of 2012.
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