Can Jeter Catch Rose?

The active hit leader now sits 74 hits shy of 3,000 and 1,330 short of Pete Rose’s all-time record.  He’ll be 37 in June and is now locked up potentially through his age 41 season.  Baseball Prospectus writer Neil Paine used formulas from the great Bill James and came up with a fair projection of 3,382.  The article goes on to give him a zero percent chance of catching Rose but what it ignores is the possibility that Jeter plays past the end of his contract. 

In Jeter’s first 15 full seasons, 2010 is the first that can truely not be called above average and is the first real sign of age.  Granted he could very well continue to decline and maybe he won’t even last to take the player option when he’s 41.  But if he can put together a few more productive seasons and he wants to come back, who’s to say he can’t hold on and make a run?  Highly unlikely, but still possible.

Rose had only 40 more hits than Jeter at this point, but looking at his numbers after age 40 (.272 AVG, .355 OBP, .327 SLG) you can see that he played far longer than he should’ve to allow him to catch Ty Cobb at age 45.

Through both of their age 36 seasons, the two have very similar numbers.  Jeter in fact is superior in every rate stat so one could make the argument that he will age slower than Rose but who knows how long he will actually hold on and play for. 

Pete Rose:

Year

Tm

G

PA

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

OPS+

TB

GDP

HBP

SH

SF

IBB

1963-1977

CIN

2346,

10717,

9541,

1554,

2966,

521,

108,

143,

902,

122,

100,

1023,

869,

.311,

.380,

.433,

.813,

126,

4132,

154,

73,

36,

44,

118

 Derek Jeter:

Year

Tm

G

PA

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

OPS+

TB

GDP

HBP

SH

SF

IBB

1995-2010

NYY

2295,

10548,

9322,

1685,

2926,

468,

61,

234,

1135,

323,

85,

948,

1572,

.314,

.385,

.452,

.837,

119,

4218,

235,

152,

79,

47,

37

 

The Yankees could very well decide he’s not productive enough to play anymore and he may not want to take a limited role or leave New York.  Whatever the case may be, it’ll interesting to see if he bounces back this year and shows that 2010 was just a fluke or continues to decline.  The Yankees better hope it’s not the ladder or they’ll be stuck with a utility player making 17 million dollars a year. 

 

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