I Got You, Babe


Derek Jeter ties Babe Ruth in career hits

Derek Jeter singled in the first inning of Friday’s 6-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox, tying him with Babe Ruth (2,873 hits) for 39th in MLB history.

At the time of his milestone hit, Jeter carried a .315 career AVG.  At the time of Ruth’s final career hit, he carried a .342 career AVG.  Ruth would go 0-for-9 the rest of the season and retire with a career .342 AVG.

Jeter has certainly been a durable player in his career.  Health permitting, he’ll join the 3,000-hit club sometime next season.  Since the 2004 season, Jeter has played no less than 150 games.  Since the 2004 season, Jeter has only twice failed to reach 200 hits (188 hits in 2004 and 179 hits in 2008).  In that span of time, Jeter has averaged 154 games played, 201 hits and a .317 AVG.

How do Jeter’s numbers compare to other star shortstops since 2006 (Hanley Ramirez’s first season as a starter) through the 2009 season?

Derek Jeter
153 games per season
202 hits per season
.325 AVG

Hanley Ramirez
154 games per season
192 hits per season
.316 AVG

Jimmy Rollins
153 games per season
181 hits per season
.275 AVG

Jose Reyes
127 games per season (36 games in 2009)
157 hits per season (averaged 196 hits from 2006-2008)
.291 AVG

Even if you disregard the injury-plagued 2009 season Reyes had, Jeter still boasts more hits per season and a higher batting average in that span of time.  Jeter has been nothing short of durable and consistent in his career.  As evidenced by his numbers over the past four seasons, Jeter was able to keep up with the elite younger shortstops in the game.

Jeter is one of those special players you can’t help but cheer for, whether you’re a Yankee fan or not.  He’s humble, he has an intense work ethic, he’s consistent, and he isn’t a negative distraction on his team.  His character, leadership and work ethic are probably what enable him to age more gracefully as a hitter than most shortstops.

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