Jeter to Play Outfield in 2011?
Over the past 2 days, I have now read two separate articles that have suggested that if Derek Jeter wants to continue playing with the Yankees, he will have to move to the outfield when his 10-year contract expires at the end of 2010. Buster Olney of ESPN suggested it a few days ago; and today, Jack Curry of the New York Times mentions it.
The reality is that Derek Jeter is getting older and as I am adamant in refusing to believe that he is the worst defensive shortstop in baseball, as the University of Pennsylvania has apparently proven, he has not been sharp over the past few seasons. As the New York Times article mentions, Jeter showed his age during the World Baseball Classic when he just could not make routine plays like he used to.
Regarding the UPenn study, you can use equations and studies all you want, but you cannot full justify Jeter as the worst defensive player when he has made some of the most impressive plays in baseball in the past decade. Remember this one? Or this one? His speed and range may be depleting, but his awareness on the field is second to none. He is a true leader at shortstop. He knows what to do and where everyone should be at every situation. You can’t do a study on his superior mental capabilities on the field.
Jeter’s move from shortstop will only lead to left field. His arm is not strong enough for enter or right. Third base is occupied by A-Rod. At second base, he is still in the middle of the infield, where speed and agility is still necessary. First base would have been an option if Mark Teixeira didn’t sign. Catcher? He is probably smart enough for it, but unlikely. As a willing captain and team mate, Jeter will make the transition to anywhere that will help the team.