Monday, November 25, 2019

The Overrating of Derek Jeter Continues

Derek Jeter continues to be overrated. One Hall of Fame voter has decided to include ONLY Derek Jeter on his Hall of Fame ballot this year. He even says that Jeter should be on the Mount Rushmore of sports. I am not saying Derek Jeter isn't great. He is without a doubt a first ballot Hall of Famer. The problem is that Derek has been overrated from day one. It is not his fault but his greatness has been a product of timing and luck. Craig Biggio is who he is most similar to according to Baseball Reference. Nobody is putting Craig Biggio on their Mount Rushmore of sports.

We have now entered a new era of Hall of Fame voting where writers' ballots are no longer hidden. This transparency has made writers use common sense now when they vote. This is a good thing and it should have always been like this. The fact that guys like Willie Mays, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron did not get 100% of the Hall of Fame vote is a joke.

The timing once again is perfect for Jeter who will probably get 100% of the vote making him the first position player ever to get the unanimous vote. This will only further push the narrative that he is one of all the all time greats when in reality he is Craig Biggio.

The overrated notion is best exemplified by his defense. If you ask the normal baseball fan he will tell you that Jeter was a great defensive shortstop. They will tell you about the jump throws, how he dove into the stands and who could forget "the flip"? However, the advanced metrics will tell you that Derek Jeter has always been a below average fielder and in some years, an absolutely horrible defensive shortstop and a liability to his team. Despite this he was awarded five gold gloves. In his average season he had defensive runs saved rating of  -13.  In 2005 he won a Gold Glove with a defensive WAR of -1.8. For his career he had a defensive WAR -8.3.

The Jeter apologist will tell you they go by the eye test. Jeter apologists hate the analytics. You know who else thought he was an awful defensive SS? Brian Cashman, the GM of the Yankees during Jeter's career and Larry Bowa who was Jeter's infield coach. Here is an excerpt from the book by Bob Klapisch called Inside the Empire. This took place in 2006 and 2007. Jeter would play SS every single day through the 2014 season hurting them defensively game after game after game. What a captain!

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