Derek Jeter was overrated, which isn’t all that shocking considering he was a New York Yankee and he won a lot of baseball games.
Yankee players that win a lot have been overrated for years, from Yogi Berra to Roger Maris to Whitey Ford and Jorge Posada.
Derek Jeter was no different. He hit over .300 and won the World Series four times in his first five full seasons in the Bronx. He was great. But because he was a Yankee, he was perceived as better than that.
The shortstop has never led the Majors in batting average or RBI or home runs or stolen bases. He topped the Hits list in 1999 with 219, but that’s it. And it was probably sometime a few years later, when the World Series trophies stopped falling out of trees, that Jeter’s perceived greatness was scaled down.
If there was ever a perfect example of the phrase, “so overrated you’re underrated” it’s Derek Sanderson Jeter from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Because while Yankee diehards glorified their leader and most everyone else disliked him for nothing more than wearing a Yankee jersey, Jeter just showed up and hit. And because of that, he is quietly -as quietly as a New York Yankee can, I guess- setting his sights on a number deemed more or less untouchable by Baseball fans.
That’s because, while his hits had dipped down the last two seasons-179 and 162- Jeter is hitting .366 with five home runs and leading the Majors with 56 hits. He became the first Yankee ever to collect 50 hits in his team’s first 30 games, and the 4,000 hit mark isn’t (very) far off. He’s currently 17th all-time on the Hits list with 3144 and is on pace for 256 this season.
A safe number would be 210.
That would leave Jeter 702 hits shy of No. 4,000 and a seat alongside just Ty Cobb and Pete Rose . If he could average 179 hits -something he’s done 14 times- for the following four seasons, hit No. 4,000 would come near the end of 2016 at the age of 42.
Is it probable that Jeter maintains a steady pace until the age of 42? No. Players get old quick, and Jeter’s one-year resurgence is still young and doesn’t completely mask the previous two seasons in which his results tailed off.
But it’s time to start bracing for a media extravaganza on Sept. 23, 2016.