Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Jeter the new, 'old' Roberto Alomar?
By Derek Czenczelewski
While gearing up for the postseason, a lot of Derek Jeter-related discussion has taken place. Most of the attention has focused on Jeter’s 2010 struggles as well as his career successes in the postseason. While performing this research, a notable comparison was made between Jeter and Roberto Alomar’s careers and how closely they have mirrored each other.
The purpose of this is not to compare their all-around games because Jeter and Alomar played different positions. Rather, it’s a look at their offensive productivity, and Jeter’s last two seasons have been remarkably similar to the latter stages of Alomar’s career.
Alomar played in 2,379 games, made 10,400 plate appearances and had a career batting average of .300, with an OBP of .371.
Jeter has played in 2,295 games, made 10,548 plate appearances while maintaining a .314 career batting average and a .385 OBP. Jeter has 234 home runs, 24 more than Alomar. Alomar stole more bases (474 to 323), but Jeter has scored more runs (1,685 to 1,508).
But the biggest similarity may just be how their careers wound down.
In 2009, Jeter hit .334, and he continued his torrid pace in April 2010, hitting .330. However, for nearly five months Jeter struggled mightily, and finished with the lowest batting average of his career, .270.
Alomar had a similar decline as well:
2001: 157 GP, .336 BA, 20 HR, 30 SB, .415 OBP (33 years old)
2002: 149 GP, .266 BA, 11 HR, 16 SB, .331 OBP (34 years old)
After his poor showing in 2002, Alomar played just two more seasons, appearing in 196 games and hitting just .259. He retired at the age of 36, Jeter’s current age.
Jeter may have had an off season by his standards, and it remains to be seen if his offense will continue to decline in 2011.
However, it’s important to note how his season ended.
On Sept. 10 against the Texas Rangers, Jeter went 1-for-7 and saw his batting average drop to .260. After a session with hitting coach Kevin Long on Sept. 11, Jeter hit .342 with a .436 OBP in his final 19 games. He also hit .438 against off-speed pitches in the final 19 games of the season, after hitting just .183 from May 1 to Sept. 10.