You Are Here > Baseball-Reference.com > Blog >

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all B-R content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing B-R blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Baseball-Reference.com » Sports Reference

For more from Andy and the gang, check out their new site High Heat Stats.

Is Jeter The Straw That Stirs The Drink?

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?

This entry was posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2008 at 9:43 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Is Jeter The Straw That Stirs The Drink?”

  1. "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."

    "Well" is relative.
    Alex's OPS was 32.369% better in Yankees wins than losses.
    Jeter's was 32.287%.

    Sounds pretty even to me.

  2. I was not actually comparing Arod and Jeter, but rather your numbers for the 2 hitter and 4 hitter (in the same way that you did).

  3. I had the exact same thought as Raphy when I saw the data. I don't think the analysis is so straightforward, either. Keep in mind, for example, that run production out of the 4th spot is heavily linked to how well the 2nd spot gets on base.

  4. Good points guys. And, I can understand the logic of looking at it as a 32% haircut across the board.

    Still, there's a concept of good and bad that needs to be considered, no? For example, think of it in terms of rain and sun instead of wins and losses.

    Everyday it's sunny, I agree to give you a prize from two wallets. The prize from the first wallet is $100 and the prize from the second one is $25. That's pretty good, right.

    Now, if it's raining, I'm going to give you 75% less from each wallet. So, from wallet one, you get $25 - which is still pretty good. But, from wallet two, you now get $6.25 - which is worthless, just about.

    Still with me?

    Jeter is the rainy day prize from the 2nd wallet when the team loses. Yes, he's producing at the rate that one would expect, percentage-wise, as compared to the 4th batter. But, it's not a good production - and, therefore has less help to the team that the $25 from the first wallet.

    Hey, it's just a thought.

  5. whoa steve too deep. totally missed yoru point

  6. and totally spelled "your" wrong. yoru?? i must have still been confused from your post.