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« Did Carlos Gonzalez Lose Bat Speed? | Main | The Yankees and the Three Home Run Bears »

Derek Jeter's Hit Types

Derek Jeter 2011 Hit Type
Line Drive10.0%.250.200.2500.0%.180
Fly Ball10.0%.200.200.2000.0%.180
Ground Ball76.0%.289.289.3160.0%.269
Pop Up2.0%.000.000.0000.0%.000
Total In Play100.0%.265.260.2860.0%.241
Total 100.0%.241.260.2590.0%.268

Although it's only been 61 plate appearances into 2011, Derek Jeter(NYY) seems to be picking up where he left off last season. His ground ball tendencies seem to be intensifying and even when he does get under a ball, he doesn't get much distance on it. In case you happened to notice, bunt data is not included in the chart which is why the percentages don't add up to 100.

Since Jeter's major hitting woes appeared to begin in 2010, here's his combined 2010 and 2011 hit type data, followed by his prior two seasons.

Derek Jeter 2010-2011 Hit Type
Line Drive15.9%.660.640.9202.0%.669
Fly Ball16.2%.294.229.6867.8%.392
Ground Ball65.5%.245.245.2600.0%.226
Pop Up1.2%.000.000.0000.0%.000
Total In Play100.0%.318.305.4311.6%.322
Total 100.0%.267.305.3621.3%.314

Derek Jeter 2008-2009 Hit Type
Line Drive19.8%.756.747.9772.3%.753
Fly Ball20.3%.308.209.79012.1%.437
Ground Ball57.0%.267.267.2730.0%.242
Pop Up1.5%.059.059.0590.0%.053
Total In Play100.0%.373.352.5182.9%.380
Total 100.0%.319.352.4442.5%.366

Watching Jeter hit has been pretty frustrating over the last year. The ground ball tendencies wouldn't be so annoying if he was making better contact overall. The drop in average on his line drives has been a big problem for Jeter. Since he's not really a home run hitter, he relies more on liners to prop up his average and power numbers. Jeter's .640 BAbip on line drives since the start of the 2010 season puts him in the bottom 8% of all major league hitters. I'd love to say that he's hit a rough patch of luck, but it's just not the case.

Derek Jeter Contact & SLG%
(Click to enlarge)

I posted Jeter's contact graphics a few months ago but I figure they're worth revisiting. The one area he tends to hit the ball well is also the area he has been making less contact. If Jeter is experiencing an overall drop in bat speed, it would explain why he's making less contact in his power zone, as well as why his ground ball and line drive averages are down. The balls he puts in play would not be hit as hard, making it a lot easier for opposing defenses to field and convert them into outs. I'm not saying this is the case, but it would certainly explain a lot.

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