Double Plays the Least of Jeter’s Troubles

Of course, this isn’t anything new. Jeter has hit into at least 15 double plays in all but one season since 2004, and since 2007 he’s recorded 21, 24, 18, and (so far this year) 17 double plays, respectively. And as Matthews notes, Jeter is 3rd among active players in career GIDP, and could easily move up to 2nd soon. Just read a Twitter feed comprised of Yankee bloggers and frequent commenters during a game when Jeter comes up with a runner on 1st and less than two outs and count the GIDP references sometime. It’s not pretty. But of course, Jeter has still managed some pretty good seasons in those years, including last year’s fantastic campaign. And that’s because double plays, while very irritating when they happen, are a somewhat fluky happening. Jeter might hit into a lot of them, but he’s kind of always hit into a lot of them, and that hasn’t kept him from being a great player.

That said, Jeter does have one very big red flag this season; his ground balls. 67% of his batted balls have been grounders, which leads the league by 7 points. More worrisome, his 4.12 GB/FB ratio is enormous, easily the tops in the league, and easily the worst of his career. This probably explains why his BABIP is only .312, compared to a career average of .357, and would explain a lot of the drop in his hitting numbers as well.

Why is Jeter hitting so many groundballs this year? Your guess is as good as mine, but Jeter is swinging at nearly 29% of pitches outside of the strikezone this year (career average 20%), and making contact on 70% of those swings, so the easiest explanation is that he’s hitting more bad pitches and not making solid contact. Whatever it is though, Jeter had better figure it out and make appropriate changes fast, because he’s not going to be productive much longer with those batted ball numbers.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

3 thoughts on “Double Plays the Least of Jeter’s Troubles

  1. Jeter needs lasik, and a drop in the batting order to 7/8 maybe.  Cashman needs to have another  one on one dinner, bringing  Jeter’s   stats with him so he can see his awful mes this year.

  2. I understand that Jeter brings the “intangibles” to the team but the Yankees do need to take his statistics into considering this winter. The Yankees have all too often let their checkbook run wild and seriously impact the team for years following the massive signing of players. Let’s bring Jeter back, but at the ‘right’ price…

  3. I’d go with the pundits blaming it on age, and slowing bat speed.  More than a few have stated (I know – where do they get their “authority”) that because Jeter can’t get around as quickly, he therefore can’t react the way he used to, and is now starting to guess.  Sorry – forget which inning, which K, but last night it sure looked that way.  Derek worked a full count (men on base, of course) and then on the last ball, took a wild swing on a ball low and outside that was almost in the dirt.  Worst part – he wasn’t even chasing the ball – his swing was in the fat part of the plate – as if he was guessing on a fat strike; sadly, the smarter pitcher guessed that Derek would guess on a fat strike, and he threw garbage – figuring he’d get a swinging third strike.
    Shows how naive I am – I always thought a batter saw the ball and swung at where it was (or would be) – as opposed to closing one’s eyes, taking a good swing, and hoping the pitcher would hit the bat.