May 9, 2010

Derek Jeter quietly having huge year

While Brett Gardner, Francisco Cervelli and Nick Swisher have come out of nowhere to steal the New York spotlight, Derek Jeter is on pace to drive in 125 runs. And he’s hitting leadoff.

First, let’s address how he’s off to this torrid start. Entering this season, in his career Jeter came to the plate with runners in scoring position 25.1 percent of the time. This year, that number is up to 31.25 percent. In short, he’s had more opportunities because the bottom of the lineup has been so good.

Another factor driving up his RBI total is that he’s taking less free passes than ever. He’s averaged 59 walks over his career entering 2010, but is only expected to finish with 35 this year.

Perhaps a reason most fans have look past Jeter’s year so far is his consistency. He’s had two hits in 12 of his 28 games played this year, while just two three-hit games.

The one alarming split is his home vs. away numbers. He’s hitting .396/.420/.729 at home and .236/.282/.278 on the road. Let me repeat the slugging percentage differential: .729 at home vs. .278 on the road. I guess that makes sense … he’s always been a crowd-pleaser.

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