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Sunday, August 19, 2012

NYT:  Jeter Chips Away at Hits Record as Rose Watches

“I don’t think very many people understand how unique he is, as a hitter,” Bill James, the father of advanced baseball statistics, wrote in an e-mail. “At-bat after at-bat, he is able to hit the ball to right field NOT by swinging late, but by just clipping the inside of the baseball, hitting the ball off-center so that it flares off his bat to right field. Other people do it once in a while by accident, but I’ve never seen anybody other than Jeter do it constantly.”

Fat Al Posted: August 19, 2012 at 01:12 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 19, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4211972)
Vizquel, the oldest ever to play shortstop, said there came a disconnect between the mind, which thinks it can make a play, and the body, which cannot. He said that Jeter “just has to wait for his body to let him know.”

Boy howdy. This is one of those things that, sure, people can tell you how it's going to go, but it's still a surprise when it happens to you.

Anyway, I think this
he hustles each at-bat.

is part of the secret to both Rose's and Jeter's durability. When you're hustling all the time, your body doesn't get surprised and pull or tweak something when all of a sudden you need it to GO. And a singles hitter who doesn't hustle is probably not long for the majors.
I'm pretty sure hustle has made Jeter the greatest modern player at reaching on error. Over his career, he's averaged 10-11 ROEs a season, 9.4/600 PA.
I don't know of any current player with a better rate over a substantial career. Ichiro! would seem to be exactly the kind of hitter who'd stand out here, but he's down at 7.8/600. Adam Rosales has CRAZY hustle, and ROEs at about the same rate as Jeter - but Jeter's got nine years on him and more than 10K plate appearances. Rose himself finished his career at 7.9/600.

(n.b. I said "modern player" because error rates have been dropping steadily for so long. I was trying to think of exactly the kind of player who would do poorly on ROEs, who also wasn't a strikeout-walk-homer guy, and came up with Smoky Burgess - who turned out to have a very high rate. I forgot, Forbes Field was to errors as Colorado is to offense in general.)
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4211977)
Jeter is on pace for 216 hits this season which would eclipse the record (208) for an age-38 season. He may tail off, get injured or be rested too much down the stretch to make it, but he is a pretty good bet to at least pass Eddie Murray (3255) and Willie Mays (3283) to move into 10th place on the all-time hit list. If Jeter can get 200+ hits this year, he may not be on the verge of collapse (as some here have predicted for quite some time now), so it seems likely that Jeter will pass Molitor (3319) for most hits by a right-handed American League batter, Wagner (3420) for most hits while primarily playing shortstop, Speaker (3514) for the 2nd most hits in AL history, and Musial (3630) for 4th all-time.

That assumes Jeter plays next season and the option year on his current contract. If he goes beyond that by even 1 season, Aaron (3771) comes in range and even Cobb's record for most hits for one team, 3900, if Jeter has 2 more reasonably productive years on his next contract. Father Time may have something to say about this, but it's worth watching.
   3. The District Attorney Posted: August 19, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4211985)
I'm pretty sure hustle has made Jeter the greatest modern player at reaching on error. Over his career, he's averaged 10-11 ROEs a season, 9.4/600 PA.
I don't know of any current player with a better rate over a substantial career. Ichiro! would seem to be exactly the kind of hitter who'd stand out here, but he's down at 7.8/600. Adam Rosales has CRAZY hustle, and ROEs at about the same rate as Jeter - but Jeter's got nine years on him and more than 10K plate appearances. Rose himself finished his career at 7.9/600.
I think the factors you want to control for here are:

• Righty hitting. Righties should have more ROE because 3B and SS commit more errors. Jeter and Rosales are righty hitters, Ichiro and Rose aren't.
• Groundball rate (GB%). Jeter's GB% is, shockingly to me, even higher than Ichiro's (58.1% vs. 55.7%). Rosales tries to put the ball in the air, at 41.7%. Rose we don't know.
• Speed. Independent of "hustle", you're still going to force more errors if your "base" running speed is faster. Ichiro is very fast, Jeter pretty fast, Rose and Rosales mediocre so far as I know.

You do have the countervailing factor that, as mentioned, Jeter goes the opposite way a lot. And I certainly don't deny that he hustles. I would be interested, though, to see how he ranks among other fast righty hitters with a very high GB%.
   4. bobm Posted: August 19, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4211987)
From B-R PI event finder:

Derek Jeter: 3248 Hits in Career-2012

Location
 9 638
 8 555
 7 460
 6 312
89 275
56 240
 4 216
78 193
 5 130
34 118
 3. 34
 1. 24
15. 19
25. 12
 2.  7
 ??  6
 13. 5
 23. 3
 46. 1<pre>

<pre>
Middle 1610
Pulled. 845
OppFld. 793
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4211996)
? Righty hitting. Righties should have more ROE because 3B and SS commit more errors. Jeter and Rosales are righty hitters, Ichiro and Rose aren't.
? Groundball rate (GB%). Jeter's GB% is, shockingly to me, even higher than Ichiro's (58.1% vs. 55.7%). Rosales tries to put the ball in the air, at 41.7%. Rose we don't know.
? Speed. Independent of "hustle", you're still going to force more errors if your "base" running speed is faster. Ichiro is very fast, Jeter pretty fast, Rose and Rosales mediocre so far as I know.


This is true, and the flipside to the high number of ROE for a player with a profile like Jeter's is he tends to hit into a lot of double plays, more than your lefthanded batter of a similar profile. Jeter has 80 more GDP than ROE in his career.

In contrast, the quickest lefties tend to have more ROE than GDP. Ichiro was among the all-time best at this until he started to lose a step. Brett Butler, with 137 ROE to only 62 GDP, is the moodern gold standard, as far as I can tell.

   6. Srul Itza At Home Posted: August 19, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4212024)
Jeter is on pace for 216 hits this season


FTFA:

“I don’t pay attention to prognostication, prediction,” he said, putting on socks, jock, pants, jersey. “One of the worst phrases in sports is ‘on pace for.’ ”
   7. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 19, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4212029)
Jeter put on his cleats and cap, and said that he did not know when he would retire, did not know when the recorded voice of Bob Sheppard would introduce him for the last time over the public address system: “Now batting for the Yankees, No. 2, Derek Jeter, No. 2.”

This paragraph is creepy and stupid and irrelevant.
   8. Darren Posted: August 19, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4212055)
Oh good, a scouting report from Bill James. Just what we need.
   9. McCoy Posted: August 19, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4212071)
136 of Jeter's 198 ROE have been handled from the left side of the field. 51 of Ichiro's 117 ROE have been handled on the left side.
   10. McCoy Posted: August 19, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4212077)
In 2011 RHB accounted for 1228 ROE and LHB accounted for 586 ROE. 1091 out of 1970 ROE were handled by a fielder on the left side of the field.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: August 19, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4212086)
25. 12

Ahh, good old position #25. Go down a block and a half where that green Dart is, hang a louie, through the alley, turn right and stand on the corner outside Milligan's. Nothing ever got past me!
   12. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 19, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4212089)
Wow, McCoy nails it. I had never even thought of it, but of course righties would ROE more than lefties. The longer throw more than makes up for the lefties being closer to first.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4212090)
Wow, McCoy nails it. I had never even thought of it, but of course righties would ROE more than lefties.


Righties make up a larger portion of the total at bats. But it's only about 30% more doesn't come close to making up the discrepency that McCoy points out(he gave the wrong list though, he gave the vs list not the actual list... rhb =1119 roe and lhb = 664 roe)

Righties reach on error at 1 per 85 at bats, lefties 1 per 107 at bats. (last year)
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 19, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4212094)
. If Jeter can get 200+ hits this year, he may not be on the verge of collapse (as some here have predicted for quite some time now),


I will readily confess that I thought Jeter was on the verge of collapse after 2010 -- if it hadn't happened already. So I give him full credit for rebounding (though in fairness I did expect _some_ rebound, just not this much).

It's worth noting how he's doing it: he's concentrated his game on mashing lefties. He's hitting lefties as well or better than he ever has before. Meanwhile, his hitting against righties hasn't been worth a damned since 2009. This most certainly is _not_ the old Jeter. It's just Old Jeter, which is plenty good enough.
   15. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 19, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4212096)
Ichiro is very fast


Blazing speed from the left-handed batter's box actually works against a high ROE rate, as it favors the "wouldn't have had a play anyway" scoring decision.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4212105)
It's worth noting how he's doing it: he's concentrated his game on mashing lefties. He's hitting lefties as well or better than he ever has before. Meanwhile, his hitting against righties hasn't been worth a damned since 2009.


What are the odds that this is really the strategy that he's focused on? As opposed to it just being one of those statistical quirks we all love.
   17. McCoy Posted: August 19, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4212106)
But it's only about 30% more doesn't come close to making up the discrepency that McCoy points out(he gave the wrong list though, he gave the vs list not the actual list... rhb =1119 roe and lhb = 664 roe)

Actually I gave out a bit of both. According to BRef PI RHB had 1228 ROE and LHB had 742 ROE. I had the vs LHP in my original post.

PI states that there were 1970 ROE in 2011. If you go to the league splits page it says that there 1783 ROE and if you go to retrosheet they say there were 1979 ROE.

   18. bookbook Posted: August 19, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4212107)
The Jeter hustles more than everyone else line strikes me as so much baloney.
   19. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4212117)
The Jeter hustles more than everyone else line strikes me as so much baloney.


I find the Jeter worship as nauseating as anyone but I think it's true that he hustles as much as any player in baseball as far as "hustle" is defined as the on field stuff we see (running out grounders, going full out for batted balls, etc...). He never seems to go half assed on any ball even if it's a routine play.
   20. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 19, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4212121)
On the Yankees, Jeter, Granderson, and A-Rod hustle all the time, pretty much every at-bat as far as I can see. Then there's Robinson Cano...
   21. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 19, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4212181)
On the Yankees, Jeter, Granderson, and A-Rod hustle all the time, pretty much every at-bat as far as I can see. Then there's Robinson Cano...

Granderson, yes. A-Rod, no. Yankee Hustle ranks: Jeter-Teixeira-Granderson-(gap)-A-Rod-don't care.
   22. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4212214)
I find the Jeter worship as nauseating as anyone but I think it's true that he hustles as much as any player in baseball as far as "hustle" is defined as the on field stuff we see (running out grounders, going full out for batted balls, etc...). He never seems to go half assed on any ball even if it's a routine play.

I agree with this.
One (of the many) annoying things about Jeter as a non-Yankee fan, is that he seems to have decided very early on that he needed live by example of hustle / grit / gamer-ness, and then he has done that, pretty consistently, for nearly 20 years. He just never seems to dog it, ever.
   23. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 19, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4212235)
Father Time may have something to say about this, but it's worth watching.

Since when does Father Time affect Yankees players?
   24. McCoy Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4212238)
Since ARod signed with them.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4212275)
I think it's true that he hustles as much as any player in baseball as far as "hustle" is defined as the on field stuff we see (running out grounders, going full out for batted balls, etc...). He never seems to go half assed on any ball even if it's a routine play.


Who is the real most hustley player in the bigs? Adam Rosales? Is it Bryce Harper?
   26. bads85 Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:24 AM (#4212293)
Since when does Father Time affect Yankees players?


Since that Gerhig guy had a disease named after him.
   27. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:26 AM (#4212294)
“I’d like to always be the hit king,” Rose said


I give Pete credit for honesty. I never really buy it when a guy says "It's OK with me if my record is broken."
   28. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:37 AM (#4212295)
Granderson, yes. A-Rod, no. Yankee Hustle ranks: Jeter-Teixeira-Granderson-(gap)-A-Rod-don't care.


Ball Saxbury.

Centaur might be a complete toolshed, but he busts his ass on every play when he's healthy.

Tesh, though an unrepentant loaf-pincher, is a good add.

I think my defining memory of him as a Yankee is his scoring on the play where Luis Castillo dropped the sure game ending pop out. The only way that happens is if the base runner is going full out the entire time, and Tesh busts his huffy-puffy, piano-lugging ass the entire damn play, even though the chances of it mattering are somewhere in the order of one in ten thousand ...

   29. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:59 AM (#4212297)
I love it when the Edit function works but doesn't work ... you can make any change you want, as long as you accept that any change you make won't actually change ...
   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 20, 2012 at 07:59 AM (#4212323)
to try and answer pf's question jarrod dyson of the royals struck me as a guy who is always busting it

on a very local level carlos gomez hustles non-stop. carlos races around the bases on his home runs which for a fan is both disconcerting and amusing. you barely get to clap for a guy. at least for someone like me as it takes a good ten seconds to get out of my seat and by that time he's rounding third
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:35 AM (#4212341)

Jeter even hustles to stare down the home plate ump if there is an unapproved called strike, whereas other guys just lazily let it slide.....

   32. Tippecanoe Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4212431)
To watch Jeter is to see a Michelangelo with a bat


And Norman Rockwell with the glove.
   33. Hack Wilson Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4212441)

And Norman Rockwell with the glove.


I would have gone with Venus de Milo.
   34. Bourbon Samurai Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4212450)
he said, putting on socks, jock, pants, jersey.


He puts his socks on first?
   35. The Good Face Posted: August 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4212459)
Granderson, yes. A-Rod, no. Yankee Hustle ranks: Jeter-Teixeira-Granderson-(gap)-A-Rod-don't care.


Wha? A-Rod doesn't bust it all the time anymore now that he's apparently made of glass and silly putty, but up until the past couple of years, he went hard on almost every play. I can think of maybe a couple of times in his Yankee tenure that he got burned watching a home run that turned out to not actually be a home run, but otherwise he almost always hustled out of the box. I do agree that Jeter's hustle is beyond reproach though.
   36. TomH Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4212503)
small bird chips away at Mt Rushmore, as Teddy watches. But methinks the bird isn't ever get to make noticebale dents in Teddy's face. If Jeter breaks Rose's record, it will be worse than Pete; as player-manager putting himself into a lineup of an Astros-like team despite the fact that he should be retired. I don't expect Jeter to be that kind of person.
   37. Karl from NY Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4212549)
He puts his socks on first?

Well, it's gotta go on before the jock...
   38. Tippecanoe Posted: August 20, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4212740)
I would have gone with Venus de Milo.


Sticking with Rockwell. On defense, Jeter

- is prolific
- is overrated by the masses
- has been provided opportunities and awards beyond those that were merited
- has limited range
- cannot go left.

Also, I swear I've seen a Norman Rockwell print depicting a gift basket.
   39. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 21, 2012 at 01:17 AM (#4213400)
Jeter picked up 4 more hits tonight, he's at .326/.367/.442 on the year. That is pretty incredible for 550 ABs into the season.

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