Derek Jeter’s fielding improved last year, so much so that he was awarded the Gold Glove for American League shortstops. Now, he may not have been the best defensive shortstop in the league, but he had one of his best seasons with the leather. According to Steve Lombardi, Jeter’s fielding has remained at the top of the league again this year:
Is he a terrible SS? No. A terrible SS would have been moved off SS by now. Tony Batista was moved. Chipper Jones was moved. Mike Lansing was moved. Mark Lewis was moved. Jose Offerman was moved. Wil Cordero was moved. Julio Franco was moved. In the big leagues, if you truly are a terrible SS, you will eventually be moved. Even a stupid team figures it out after a while. Jeter has not been moved, because he is not terrible with the glove at SS.
While Jeter’s power numbers have dipped (he hit 23 homers and 44 doubles in 2004, and he has 14,and 21 respectively so far this year), Jeter has walked 60 times so far in 2005, up from 46 all of last year. He has six sacrifices this year, down from a ridiculously high 16 in 2004 (that spike was a direct result of Jeter’s early season slump, and it was a habit he did not break out of all year, even after he starting hitting). Jeter scored his 100th run of the season yesterday and his line of .315/.393/.456 makes for another impressive year, don’t you think?