Jeter Is Good

Since I posted about Jeter being considered infallable the other day, I thought I'd take a real look at his numbers today. I know his average was way up there, but I really didn't understand just how good he has been playing and how consistently good he's been of late.

Sure, he's hitting almost .370 and that's good no matter what, but it's only May, right? And he's got just three homers and 28 RBIs. So it's not like he's doing anything amazing...right?

Except if you begin to look at his game-by-game log for the season so far, you see that he's only had two -- two! -- true, zero-hit games thus far this season. On April 7, he went 0-for-4 with a walk and on May 4, he went 0-for-6. That May 4 game was the only game he's appeared in this season where he has not reached base.

Think about that. That's actually incredible. He's currently riding an 18-game hitting streak and, as I said, has gotten on base in every single game this year except for one (including one game where he was plunked in the first inning and had to leave the game -- a 0-for-0 with 1 HBP).

But let's take it back even further. If you go back to his game-by-game for 2006, you'll see that the last time Jeter had two straight games with no hits was August 16 and 17 of last year. Since last August 19, Derek has only had three games (the aforementioned two this year, plus Sept 17 of 2006) where he put up an 0-fer. That's it.

So over his last 82 games (just more than half a season's worth of games), Derek Jeter has had hits in 77 of them, with two games being 0-for-0 games (one the aforementioned HBP game and one last year, also against Tampa, where he went 0-for-0 with three walks and three runs scored).

Three 0-fers in 82 games. And only two games in the past 82 where he did not reach base. Two.

Last night, he cleared 2,215 hits to move ahead of Joe DiMaggio on the Yankees all-time hits list and won't be 33 until June 26. Jeter has averaged about 195 hits per season so far in his career. Even if that drops to 175 per year, Jeter will clear 3,000 hits in about four and a half seasons, or at the end of 2011, the season in which he'll turn 37. It's quite conceiveable that he will approach 3,500 hits. Do you know how many guys have even 3,400 hits, all-time? Eight.

I know a lot of people have taken a liking to mocking Jeter as being a media-created legend, but he's doing a pretty good job of it himself. Sure, he's not hitting 700+ home runs like Bonds or things like that, but I'm also not writing this talking about his "little things" or "intangibles," the stuff that knowledgeable people make fun of since it kind of is hyperbole. No, I'm talking about his actual numbers and they're beginning to look pretty incredible.

Thus ends my public love note about Derek's skillz.

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