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Thursday, August 30, 2012
SweetSpot TV: Jeter best SS ever?

By David Schoenfield


It's a very special edition of SweetSpot TV as Eric Karabell and myself discuss Mr. Derek Jeter. At the age of 38, Jeter is having a terrific season at the plate, hitting .321 and leading the American League in hits. We raise the question: Is Derek Jeter the greatest shortstop of all time?

One point of comparison with Cal Ripken: Even though Ripken has outhomered Jeter 431 to 254, Jeter has a big offensive edge. Jeter's career oWAR (offense Wins Above Replacement) on Baseball-Reference.com is 91.1 compared to Ripken's 72.8, a nearly 20-win advantage. B-R's defensive metrics, however, give a huge edge to Ripken, as Jeter rates below replacement level at minus-8.3 wins compared to Ripken's plus-34.5 wins. That defense gives Ripken a huge edge in career WAR. Do you believe Ripken was 40 wins better on defense over the course of their careers?

Also, check out Dan Szymborski's Insider story on Jeter's chances of reaching 4,000 hits and catching Pete Rose's career total.