February 12, 2014

The Cap'n, Derek Jeter, calling it quits — what's his #Cooperstown legacy?

I think a lot of people, like me, had wondered if 2014 would be Derek Jeter's last year after his one-year contract extension.

We need wonder no longer. He has announced his retirement, effective after the end of this year. 

So, he won't stick around to score 2,000 runs, the one major "counting" milestone still in front of him.

He's a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer. A postseason star. That said, if we accept he's not one of the top three or so shortstops ever, where does he fall?

Actually, not THAT well.

His JAWS is currently 12th among career shortstops. His career WAA is currently 32.4, which actually is outside my circle of slam-dunk HOFers, of 35 or better. (And, no, he's not likely to have 2.6 WAA this year.)

Put another way? He's just one JAWS slot ahead of Barry Larkin, who needed three years to get in.

Or, to put it another way, since I'm a Cardinals fan?

Just last summer, I compared him to Ozzie Smith, who is No. 8 on JAWS. I'll revisit those highlights now.

The Wiz ranks ahead of Jeter in WAA, WAA and 162-game win-loss percentage, and the 7-year JAWS ranking for shortstops, for starters. He also ranks higher on positional runs, surprisingly. Of course, he obliterates Jeter on fielding runs. The Cap'n's a -229 while the Wiz is a +154.

Oz had four seasons of 4 WAA or better, to Jeter's 3.

The fielding stats above don't tell the whole story, but another one does.

Jeter started his career below the league average in range factor for shortstops. Ozzie ended his career still above the average.

Ozzie had a bit less doubles power and a fair amount less home run power, tis true, along with lower batting average. The lower scoring era, plus playing in the National League, make his numbers look worse.

The fielding was enough of an issue for long enough that the Yankees, pride of Jeter aside, should have bit the bullet and moved him to third when they got Alex Rodriguez, instead of moving A-Rod.

Meanwhile, I noted Larkin is No. 13 on shortstop JAWS. Just ahead of Jeter at No. 11? Alan Trammell. There's yet another argument for Tramm being in the Hall. 

And, again, it shows that, counting stats, and World Series wins, aside, Derek Jeter is not in the top tier USDA Grade A level of shortstops.

And, at ESPN, Wallace Matthews may be speaking too soon. Maybe Jeter will have his stumbles. Maybe that ankle still isn't 100 percent. 


Meanwhile, a final comment on Fangraphs vs. Baseball-Reference, per Mr. Keri.

D-WAR is a toughie, but, Fangraphs differs a lot, apparently, from B-R at times. B-R has Ozzie 5 career WAR higher than Jeter while Fangraphs has him about 6 points lower.

The difference is even bigger with some other players. Fangraphs ranks Carew nearly 10 points lower in career WAR.

I like that B-R separates out O-WAR and D-WAR, too, and has a little bit of explainer. It's also "interesting" that Fangraphs, despite Jaffe's JAWS system being nearly a decade old, doesn't incorporate it.

Also, B-R has the Javascript balloons when you hover over the head of each category for lists, like JAWS lists, and not just for individual players. Better website design, that way.

Indeed, I smell a blog post coming on!


David Gray said...

Lol counting stats and World Series wins aside.. Disappointed in baseball reference

Gadfly said...

This is just one of several reasons, as noted, why I like it better than Fangraphs.