Posted by Steve Lombardi on February 22, 2008
Here's some fun with Baseball-Reference.com's new Batting Order Position Outcomes tool.
Last season, Derek Jeter batted second for the Yankees, most of the time.
For 2007, the Yankees second batter (in their line-up order) had the following BA/OBP/SLG splits:
In Wins: .344/.402/.483
In Losses: .255/.312/.357
Last season, Alex Rodriguez batted fourth for the Yankees, most of the time.
For 2007, the Yankees fourth batter (in their line-up order) had the following BA/OBP/SLG splits:
In Wins: .333/.453/.737
In Losses: .294/.389/.510
This is interesting. When Alex Rodriguez batted well last season, the Yankees either won or lost. And, when Derek Jeter batted well last season, the Yankees won. But, when Derek Jeter didn't bat well in 2007, the Yankees lost.
For more of a test, I went back to 2005 - when Alex Rodriguez, like in 2007, won the MVP.
In 2005, Derek Jeter batted first for the Yankees, most of the time.
That season, the Yankees first batter (in their line-up order) had the following BA/OBP/SLG splits:
In Wins: .331/.406/.486
In Losses: .260/.339/.368
In 2005, Alex Rodriguez batted fourth for the Yankees, about half of the time - and also batted fifth and second at times. And, he did well out of all of those slots.
And, according to Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Batting Event Finder, in 2005, A-Rod batted .343/.444/.657 when the Yankees were leading in a game and he batted .286/.375/.493 when the Yankees were trailing in a game.
It's safe to say that Alex, in 2005, batted well for the Yankees no matter where he was in the line-up or how the Yankees were doing in a game.
So, in the two years where Alex Rodriguez won the MVP (2005 and 2007), in terms of winning and losing, he hit for the Yankees - no matter what. But, during those two seasons, when Derek Jeter batted well, the Yankees won - and when Jeter did not bat well, the Yankees lost.
Granted, there are many other variables that come into play here - like the other seven batters in the line-up for New York and who was pitching for the Yankees and the other team, etc. Nonetheless, it's an interesting split for these two players, no?