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Derek Jeter: A Good Fielder?

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Derek Jeter: A Good Fielder?

Postby ajgnydc722 » Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:43 pm

I remember lots of fights going on at the beginning of the season with people trashing Jeter's defensive skill (and rightfully so). However I was looking at some defensive stats and realized that Derek Jeter's Range Factor (which I was told is much more reliable than Fielding % among others) has increased greatly this year.

2000- 4.12
2001- 3.81
2002- 3.81
2003- 3.75
2004- 4.46

While he was ranked "dead last" among starting shortstops in fielding before this season, this season in RF, he ranked 11th, higher than Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera, Ceasar Izturis, Kahil Greene and Omar Vizquel.

His Zone Rating went like this:

2000- .811
2001- .789
2002- .803
2003- .791
2004- .847

And again, he ranks 11th in the league above Greene, Vizquel, Cabrera, Furcal, Guzman, etc.

Any reasoning for this? A fluke year or has Jeter just gotten better?
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Postby Lofunzo » Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:47 pm

It is obvious by watching him that he has been much better in the field this year. Not great but much improved. ;-D
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Postby Tavish » Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:07 pm

Zone Rating is the much more reliable of the two measuring sticks. His range factor was bound to go up as the Yankee pitching staff recorded fewer K's and more groundballs than the those of the past. The ZR increase is encouraging, if Jeter become even an average fielder like he was this year, his value (RL) would increase dramatically. Fielding is something that can always be improved on so I wouldn't automatically write this off as a fluke season.
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Postby tlef316 » Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:21 pm

I watch tons of baseball. i watch every yanks game and pretty much any other game that is on. I dont understand how people can trash jeter's range. He has problems with some plays, but he makes the plays in the hole as well as anyone and has a very strong arm.

Is he the best? of course not. but he is more than average in the field. He makes the big plays(boston this year, oakland in the div. series in 2001) and thats all that matters to the yankees.
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Postby giants8307 » Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:25 pm

tlef316 wrote:I watch tons of baseball. i watch every yanks game and pretty much any other game that is on. I dont understand how people can trash jeter's range. He has problems with some plays, but he makes the plays in the hole as well as anyone and has a very strong arm.

Is he the best? of course not. but he is more than average in the field. He makes the big plays(boston this year, oakland in the div. series in 2001) and thats all that matters to the yankees.


I think jeter looks so good in the hole because he doesn't get there in time to set his feet. he then has to make the "jump throw" that ends up on SC. Anyway, maybe he took some lessons from the best SS on the team, AROD. ;-D
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Postby LBJackal » Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:20 am

giants8307 wrote:
tlef316 wrote:I watch tons of baseball. i watch every yanks game and pretty much any other game that is on. I dont understand how people can trash jeter's range. He has problems with some plays, but he makes the plays in the hole as well as anyone and has a very strong arm.

Is he the best? of course not. but he is more than average in the field. He makes the big plays(boston this year, oakland in the div. series in 2001) and thats all that matters to the yankees.


I think jeter looks so good in the hole because he doesn't get there in time to set his feet. he then has to make the "jump throw" that ends up on SC. Anyway, maybe he took some lessons from the best SS on the team, AROD. ;-D


Bingo. He makes great plays because he can barely get to a lot of balls; for most players they would make it look much easier. And I'm not just trashing him for the sake of trashing him, I'll give credit where credit is due, and this year was definately a change from the past. He was average for once instead of dead last, and I guess he's been working on his defense. Maybe the pressure of keeping his spot to hold off A-Rod from playing his proper position was enough to motivate him defensively.
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Postby tlef316 » Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:12 am

Im very curious as to why people believe jeter has no range. he certainly isnt slow. i dont think he could be the player he is if he had bad reflexes. he certainly isnt lacking the heart or hustle needed to get to those balls.

im not trying to start a debate or argument, just wondering what people use as a reason for Jeter's alleged "lack of range". i just dont see it. i wonder if anyone who actually watches the yankees can actually give me some reasons why his range is bad, besides blindly following what Bill James has decided is an important stat.

im really interested to hear what you guys have to say on this
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Postby LBJackal » Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:20 am

Every credible defensive ranking system has Jeter as pretty much dead last amongst starting SS's for the past few years. This season he has turned it around, and is about average.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:28 am

tlef316 wrote:i wonder if anyone who actually watches the yankees can actually give me some reasons why his range is bad, besides blindly following what Bill James has decided is an important stat.
The reason we have stats is to be able to objective judge players ability. No matter how much baseball you watch you won't be able to see all the plays that Jeter makes and compare them to all the plays other SS make. The best fielding stats IMO are Range Factor(RF) and if you don't want a Bill James stat try Zone Rating (ZR). The past few years Jeter was near the bottom of both, but this past year he has improved alot. He still isn't a great defensive SS but he is much better than the last couple of years.
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Postby LBJackal » Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:11 pm

RF isn't very good because it depends on alot of outside factors; home ballpark, pitching staff, teams you face a lot, NL or AL, etc. For players playing the same position on the same team, such as Ensberg and Lamb, it's useful. But even still, ZR and UZR are much better.
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