So far this season Derek Jeter is looking like a young man again. Through eight games he’s batting .361/.395/.528, good for a .386 wOBA. He certainly won’t maintain this pace, but after getting off to a horribly slow start last season it’s nice to see the Captain doing some damage in April. The question then becomes, can Derek keep it up? Is the fast start legit, or will Derek fade the way he did in 2010?
Digging just a little bit into the numbers, Derek’s hot start doesn’t look sustainable. The Yankees have faced an improbably high number of left handed starters so far in 2012. One thing Jeter has always done is clobber left handed pitching. For his career he’s a .400 wOBA hitter against lefties. In his first eight games of the year Jeter has seen a southpaw on the mound for five of them. He’s responded accordingly. Derek has an other-worldly .617 wOBA against lefties in 2012. Against righties, however, Jeter has a middling .272 wOBA. That’s bad, really bad, and certainly not what he’s done for his career. In his career against righties Jeter has a .344 wOBA.
The baseball starved masses (I count myself among them) jump all over stats at the start of the season because it’s the first opportunity we have to jump all over stats. While it’s refreshing to see Derek get off to such a healthy start, his numbers won’t last if he can’t hit right handed pitching. Fortunately, the same logic applies. Just as it’s way too early in the season to be excited about Derek’s hot hitting it is equally too early to be concerned about that awful .272 wOBA against righties. Derek’s true 2012 numbers have yet to show themselves.
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