Jeter’s Final Push – Can He Reach 3100 by the end of the year?
Over the years I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a big Derek Jeter fan. Over the years myself and others like me have had to put up with the loud and proud Jeter Haters out there who will spew out alternative stat after alternative stat that (in their minds) validates their assumption that Jeter is not a great player, or at the very least that he his highly overrated and not worthy of all the praise that has been heaped upon him over the years. They will tell you that he is (and never was) worth a damn defensively and that he only has great offensive numbers because he’s played with great players his whole career and that he was just another player on a team filled with great players.
To that I say – no one gets 5 rings, 3000 hits, a first ballot Hall of Fame pass and millions of fans worldwide by being “just another player”.
Regardless, last year was a big year for the Jeter Haters. Most of the Captains key numbers were down across the board and they had no problem calling this the beginning of the end of the Yankee shortstop.
And when 2011 started it looked like they may be right. A dismal first three months had him batting under .260 with little run scoring production of any kind. But a funny thing happened on the way to a glorious Hater victory over the dreaded future Hall of Famer – he started hitting like – well – Derek Jeter.
From the first of July Jeter has batted .343 with 34 runs batted in and 74 hits in 52 games. Compare that to his first 62 games (.260 average, 20 RBI and 68 hits). Simply put – he is on fire.
His 162 game average in the second half of the season is nothing short of fantastic – on pace for 106 runs driven in, 122 runs scored and 231 hits. All this from a guy who was declared washed up on June 30th buy his detractors as well as the national media – the so-called experts.
Don’t you love it when the so-called experts are just flat out wrong?
With this hit barrage Jeter has propelled himself not only past his 3000th hit but he’s pushing the 3100 mark. Like Ichiro’s chase for 200 hits, Jeter has an outside chance of reaching 3100 before the start of the 2012 season.
Coming into tonights play he has 3068 hits – 32 short of 3100. The Yankees have 22 games left to play. Getting 32 base knocks in 22 games is not out of the realm of possibility for the Captain.
So in the spirit of “can Ichiro get 46 hits in 28 games” I ask you this – Can Jeter get 32 in 22 games and enter 2012 with 3100?
Let the debating (and in some cases hating) begin.