As we count down to Opening Day, Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand will answer 14 for '14 -- the top 14 questions facing the 2014 New York Yankees. The series will run until the eve of the first pitch between the Yankees and Astros on Tuesday, April 1, and will end with both Matthews and Marchand making their predictions for the season.
Question: How many hits will Derek Jeter get in 2014?
Andrew Marchand: The last time Jeter played a full season, his 216 hits were more than anyone else's in baseball. That was two years ago.
In his final season, Jeter will be feted every which way, but there is no telling whether he will perform to vintage standards. He didn't look great at the plate during the spring.
Still, even as he turns 40, he is Jeter, and betting against him over the years would make a rich man poor. So I think he will be OK -- not 2012 great, but not bad, either.
I'll give him 164 hits, which will allow him to finish his career with a clean 3,480, earning him sixth place on the all-time list.
To end up in the top five, Jeter would need 199 hits to pass No. 5 Cap Anson, who finished with 3,514.
Wallace Matthews: I would love to see Jeter have another 200-hit season and finish up his career among the top five on baseball's all-time hit list. But as he comes off a season in which he had just 73 plate appearances and a spring in which he has looked more like the Jeter who suffered through a nightmarish 2010 season than the one who cruised to a .316 batting average in 2012, I would be very surprised if he was able to reach that plateau for the ninth time in his career.
Age and the possibility of injury may limit Jeter's playing time this season, although manager Joe Girardi's likelihood of using him as a designated hitter a couple of days a week will increase his plate appearances. I'll take a stab at 175 hits for Jeter this season, giving him a total of 3,491 for his career.