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Entries in Derek Jeter (16)


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.


Jeter's Line Drive Luck

David Pinto had a post up earlier regarding Jeter's new approach to hitting.  Following up on that, check out his batted ball splits from the two previous seasons.

Jeter 200920.3%.3682.51.243.817.228311
Jeter 201016.1%.3073.60.242.667.232303

That .667 batting average on line drives ranked in the bottom 5% in all of baseball last season. Was Jeter just unlucky with his liners? There's always the issue of subjectivity when it comes to line drives. One stat reporter may see a hit as a line drive with elevation while another might see it as simply a fly ball. So you're going to get some variation there, and as a result Jeter's LD batting average might get hurt (or even helped).

But there's also the possibility that his line drives were simply not hit as hard last season. Liners are going to drop as hits more often than any other batted ball because they have less air time than fly balls and are thus far more difficult for fielders to make a play on. If Jeter's line drives did not have as much velocity as previous seasons (perhaps with less elevation), it could definitely have played a part in lowering that average. It will be interesting to see how his new swing (with the elimination of that big leg kick) affects his batted ball types this season.


Derek Jeter 2010: Not a Year of Contact

A few weeks ago, we looked at Jeter’s 2010 and how poorly he hit against RHP. In that post, I noted how Jeter’s power zone (up and away) decreased significantly last season. Jeter tends get his extra base hits on balls up and out over the plate. In 2010, his in play SLG% on pitches to that area of the zone dropped greatly, especially against RHP.

Considering that a decrease in bat speed might be at issue, I decided to look at Jeter’s contact percentage last season to see if anything changed from previous years.
Derek Jeter Contact Rate 2010
So Jeter was swinging and missing at a lot of pitches in an area where he typically generates most of his power. The first thought that comes to mind is a drop in bat speed. I can't attest to whether or not Jeter actually lost anything on his swing in 2010, but he certainly whiffed at a greater rate on pitches up and away. Hard pitches up in the zone are usually tougher to get around on for hitters. If Jeter was experiencing a drop in bat speed, this would be an area we would notice it most, especially against righties with fastballs tailing away.

How do Jeter's contact numbers up in the zone compare to his 2009 numbers?

Derek Jeter Contact Rate 2009 (Selected Zone [518 pitches, 378 swings])
vs. LHP45.907.63089.3%
vs. RHP110.642.43485.3%
vs. FB101.765.52086.8%

Derek Jeter Contact Rate 2010 (Selected Zone [421 pitches, 295 Swings])
vs. LHP60.719.47483.9%
vs. RHP78.293.24779.5%
vs. FB71.441.31378.9%

Across the board, Jeter’s contact rate was down 5% in 2010. Against fastballs in his power zone, it was down nearly 8%. And against right handed fastballs in that zone, his contact rate was down more than 10% from 2009 (79.4% to 68.7%). Again, I don't know if this is due to a drop in bat speed, or if his bat speed saw any decline at all from 2009 to 2010. However, Jeter was swinging and missing at a greater rate in an area where he gets most of his big hits.

Given the drastic drop in power, Jeter’s 2010 was likely not all a result of decline due to age. He could simply have had an off year, with his problems only partly a result of age related factors. He had a terrible season against RHP which contributed greatly to his overall power outage. However, his numbers do look similar in many respects to his 2008 season numbers, with 2009 looking like the outlier.

I’m really not sure what to expect out of Jeter in 2011. He probably won’t be as bad as he was in 2010. But unless he can correct his troubles against RHP, I doubt we’ll see him approach anything close to his 2009 production.