Potential Draft Day Bust: Has Derek Jeter Become A One Trick Pony?

Will this be the year that Derek Jeter finally falls flat and loses his value? It tends to be a common theme around draft day (at least in recent years), though things definitely aren’t looking overly promising in 2013 as the issues are mounting quickly:

  1. He will turn 39-years old in June and, sooner or later, the production has to start to slip
  2. He is coming off surgery to repair a fractured ankle and is just now getting into spring action
  3. The Yankees offensive weapons are falling like flies

As it is you have to wonder if Jeter is the best leadoff hitter currently on the Yankees roster. He has struggled to draw walks in recent years and has eclipsed 18 SB just once in the past six seasons (including just 9 last season). Given the state of the Yankees lineup at this point, they need people at the top who are going to make things happen. Both Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Gardner are likely better suited at this point.

Even if Jeter did stay atop the order (which probably will be the case, at least early) and could continue to hit .300+ (which is far from a given), is it really a guarantee that he scores runs? At this point we are looking at a middle of the order with Robinson Cano and then a series of question marks.

There’s no Alex Rodriguez. There’s no Curtis Granderson. There’s no Mark Teixeira.

Can Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner and others fill the void? It’s possible, but far from a certainty.

Jeter has never had extensive power and has mostly been a 60-75 RBI guy. We already have stated that he no longer has speed on his side, especially given the ankle injury. Now, we take away runs scored?

What exactly is left?

Yes, he is a career .313 hitter. That’s a very nice average but does it really separate him from anyone? Unless he is going to hit .350, it’s hardly enough.  Last season there were eight shortstops who qualified for the batting title who hit .270 or better, and the majority of them brought another skill to the table (whether it be HR or SB).

Unfortunately for Jeter circumstances may have turned him into a one-trick pony, and that trick just isn’t good enough. He’s a player to avoid in all formats at this point.

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