Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Over the past few seasons Derek Jeter has been on a steady decline. His overall batting numbers and especially his power numbers have decreased. His fielding and range has been much maligned. All of this has lead to many a published article proclaiming Jeter as the most overrated player in Major League Baseball.
In 2009 however Derek Jeter might be one of the most overlooked superstar in major league baseball. Did you know that Jeter this season has reemerged as a .330 & 400 OBP hitter? Did you know that Jeter could potentially reach his first 20/20 season since 2004? Did you know Jeter is well on his way to his 13th season in which he eclipses to 100 Run mark?
Then we come to the most surprising at all, Jeter's resergence with the glove. Since Fangraphs started charting UZR rating in 2002, Jeter has never been deamed a better than average shortstop, until 2009. In 2009 Jeter's current UZR rating is 5.6 which places his 5th among all of major league shortstops.
While the media is proclaiming Mark Teixeira as the odds on MVP favorite, the case for Jeter can be easily made. He plays a more valuable position, by far. He's the team captain and leader. By Fangraphs Value system, Jeter is worth far more to the Yankees than Teixeira has been this season.
And yet with all of his statistical merrits and golden boy popularity, somehow someway, Jeter's great season has slipped below the major media radar. It's time to give the man his due again, he's once again the best shortstop and amongst the best all around players in the American League.