Derek Jeter: The Curious Downfall

September 13, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

When you glance at Derek Jeter’s .261 batting average in 2010, the first thing you ask yourself is: Do I need glasses.


Because, barring an extremely unprecedented surge, Jeter is on pace to hit below .300 for the first time  since 2002. More concerning, it will be his lowest batting average since 1995, his first season, when he played just 15 games.

So what is it? What is happening to the Captain?

It isn’t hard to find the problem. Jeter’s line drive ratio is at a career low, his ground ball ratio is at a career high, and his fly ball ratio is at a career low.

Clearly, Jeter is all out of whack.

His home run per fly ball ratio is the closet to his career average of all his statistics. If he gets good wood on the ball, he still can hit it hard. The problem, though, is that he isn’t getting good wood on the ball.

Why is that?

He isn’t being pitched any differently. He sees every pitch nearly the same amount of times as he had in the past. He also doesn’t swing anymore than he had in the past.

A common argument is that Jeter cannot handle certain pitches anymore.

However, Jeter’s w values, a way of measuring a players success against a certain type of pitch, are equally down for every pitch. 

This suggests he is having problems with all pitches.

What we do find in 2010 that differs from his past is that Jeter swings at a much higher percentage of pitches outside the strike-zone. To be exact, 28.4% of the pitches he swings at are out of the strike-zone, well above his career average of 20.4%, and a career high by far.

The ability to explain Jeter’s decline is very good news for Yankee fans.

If we could not pinpoint the problem, it would mean Jeter was simply losing his ability to play baseball. But his problem is not a physical problem (age), it is a mental problem.

For some reason, Jeter has lost the ability to identify a strike.

E-mail me at jess@jesskcoleman.com, follow me on Twitter @jesskcoleman, and check out more at jesskcoleman.com.

Read more New York Yankees news on BleacherReport.com

readers comments

Yankee Tickets

Yankee Tickets

Shop Yankee

Shop Yankee