Originally Posted by PTI (pti)
I don't really want to get into a Derek Jeter-slurping contest on a Reds message board, but this is exactly why Jeter is *underrated* - especially by non-Yankee fans. Not even the best shortstop on his team??? Come on - do you really buy that?? He'll eventually end his career with about a .310 career BA, 3000+ hits, 300 or so home runs, and 300-400 steals. Not to mention 4 WS rings.
It obviously helps to be in a better lineup, but come on - 3000 hits doesn't just happen by accident. He's a damn good baseball player, and one of the top 3/4 shortstops in the game over the last 10 years.
Underrated = how about Jason Jennings? If he pitched anywhere else in the NL, he'd likely be a #1 starter. Very good hitter, too - career BA around .250.
He's talking about his defensive abilities as a shortstop, which are in fact notably below A-Rod's. A-Rod is the best shortstop of his generation and he's also done better at third than Jeter probably could have. I love Derek Jeter with all my soul but even I'm not blind to that.
Ever since Bernie started to deteriorate, there have been rumors every year about moving Jeter to centerfield, and every year I advocate it. Does this mean I think he's overrated? Not at all. He's more valuable to that team than anyone else, and as far as position players go, probably would be on any team.
I know that clutch is a foggy area and I hate to make arguments without solid facts to back them up, especially since I know the numbers are there to argue Jeter's shortcomings as a shortstop. But, while I would never argue that he's a great defensive shortstop, I do think looking only at the stats devalues him there. I watched a good 80% of the games he played over about a three-year period, and I think he's better than the numbers indicate. What do I have to back this up? Well, no numbers really, just what my eyes have seen...his range to his left has notably improved since A-Rod came aboard. His hands and his feet sometimes seem to be at odds -- he's got great hands, but he gets tripped up with his feet. But this has gotten better, and if anything I think maybe the Gold Gloves were a nod toward that. He's also a pretty fielder, kind of showy and graceful, which I admit may make him look better than he is. Nevertheless...I guess my point is that people scream that his number make him the worst shortstop in the majors, while a Gold Glove would indicate that he is the best in the AL. The truth is very much in the middle. So, in my mind, rather average defensively, then throw in his hitting ability, his baserunning ability (severely underrated in my opinion -- he's one of the best I've ever seen, quick and very smart), and everything else he brings to the team, and he's right up there again. So, = not overrated.
Another thing that I think people overlook with Jeter is how many second basemen he's had to deal with over the last 10+ years. He's adjusted at every turn. I'm inclined to think that if he had had more second basemen working with him for more than a couple of season at a time (and sometimes far less), he would have had opportunity to settle in more.