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The Jeter Meter

Posted by Steve Lombardi on September 30, 2008

Here's a random yet fun slice of the big baseball pie via's Play Index Batting Game Finder...

Since 1956, players with the most games where they reached base 2+ times within the first 1,985 games of their career:

                   Games Link to Individual Games
 Wade Boggs         1180 Ind. Games
 Frank Thomas       1179 Ind. Games
 Rickey Henderson   1169 Ind. Games
 Edgar Martinez     1136 Ind. Games
 Jeff Bagwell       1134 Ind. Games
 Derek Jeter        1120 Ind. Games
 Manny Ramirez      1116 Ind. Games
 Joe Morgan         1108 Ind. Games
 Barry Bonds        1107 Ind. Games
 Chipper Jones      1102 Ind. Games
 Gary Sheffield     1087 Ind. Games
 Jim Thome          1079 Ind. Games
 Alex Rodriguez     1077 Ind. Games
 Carl Yastrzemski   1072 Ind. Games
 Pete Rose          1072 Ind. Games
 Tim Raines         1071 Ind. Games
 Bernie Williams    1062 Ind. Games
 John Olerud        1062 Ind. Games
 Frank Robinson     1061 Ind. Games
 Paul Molitor       1053 Ind. Games
 Tony Gwynn         1052 Ind. Games
 Craig Biggio       1052 Ind. Games
 Mark Grace         1048 Ind. Games
 Rod Carew          1039 Ind. Games
 Roberto Alomar     1028 Ind. Games

Say what you want about Derek Jeter...but, you can't say that he doesn't reach base...and often. (And, yes, I used 1,985 games since that's the number of games that Jeter has played in his career, so far.)

10 Responses to “The Jeter Meter”

  1. statboy Says:

    It doesn't rhyme, but shouldn't you call it the Wade Boggs Meter? 🙂

  2. kingturtle Says:

    except for Edgar Martinez, the first 16 are, will be, or should be in the Hall of Fame.

  3. ZimJim Says:

    Kingturtle, I agree with you, great stat for hall of fame caliber players. But why not edgar martinez? He has great numbers and is above or at the average for HOF Standards and HOF Monitor on his stats page and around HOF average for Black and Grey Ink stats.

  4. JohnnyTwisto Says:

    Martinez was certainly a great hitter, but has very little defensive value and couldn't run at all his last several seasons. Was his hitting great enough to overcome that? I'm not sure. I can't say he shouldn't be a HOF, but I can't say he should, either.

    Those HOF standards were calculated by Bill James almost 20 years ago, and were meant only to show certain statistical standards that inductees have met. They are not meant to predict who should be in the HOF, and they have little utility for players who compiled most of their numbers in the high-offensive era when Martinez played.

  5. David in Toledo Says:

    Not to slam Jeter. But he's number 7 on this list, and you have to go all the way to #15 (Yaz) to find someone with a career OB% lower than Derek's, even including all their decline phases.

    IMO, a career DH should collect 400 career win shares to have a HOF presumption. The HOF itself lists Paul Molitor (404 ws) as a DH. Frank Thomas's total is 406. I can't find a computation for 2002, but Edgar Martinez's career total would appear to be no more than 320. ZimJim, don't take this as a firm thumbs-down, just as my idea that he doesn't have a presumption in his favor and needs a lot of justifying argument.

  6. NickH44 Says:

    Edgar wasn't a great defensive player no doubt, but I don't think the Hall is reserved for only players that are well-rounded. Edgar is known predominantly as a DH, and the Hall, whether you agree with the DH rule or not, needs representation in the HOF because it is a big part of baseball. So who better to put in than a player who many call the greatest DH of all time? Molitor and Thomas should be in there too, as far as I'm concerned.

    Of course, this is coming from a Seattle fan. This may be about all I have to look forward to for the next few years. Stats aside, he is the only great player who was a career-long Mariner, he was instrumental in all of the M's successful seasons, and everyone loved him. There are things that should count for something beyond statistics when it comes to the Hall.

  7. kingturtle Says:

    Edgar Martinez played 32% of his games as a fielder. 32%!! Even Molitor managed 56%. For me that takes a lot out of Edgar's Hall of Fame potential. Can we get a list of other players who have played 65%+ career games at DH?

  8. David in Toledo Says:

    65%+ career games at DH (minimum 1000 career games at all positions): Edgar, Hal McRae (230 ws), David Ortiz (180 ws; he's played about 60% as much as the other two).

    Edgar's iconic status in Seattle should count for something; it's then a question of how much, and of how much is "needed" beyond his statistics.

    What happens to Jim Thome (c. 350 ws)? Does he need more ws than Tim Raines (390)? Is there a some other valid metric that puts his accomplishment, with two more years at 2008 rates, ahead of Tim Raines's? (I don't think so.)

  9. JohnnyTwisto Says:

    Agreed that HOF players need not be well-rounded, but presumably they must reach some level of total value to get inducted. (Obviously, different voters have different levels, and different ways of calculating value.) Martinez's inability to play the field impacts the value he had. I'm not saying a career DH should be ineligible for the HOF, but the offense required from one is more than required from anyone else, and I'm not sure Martinez quite gets there.

    Raines had a longer career than Thome has had, hence more WS. The seasons Raines played in NY were helpful for the Yankees, but I don't think add much to his HOF resume. Which player had more 25-WS seasons, more 30-WS seasons? WS essentially has a replacement level of 0. Anyone who plays collects some WS. Use a measure with a higher replacement level (or something like Win Shares Above Bench, which I believe is calculated at and you may find a different answer. Not to say either is definitely correct, but were I a HOF voter, I would focus on a player's value in his prime, and possibly completely ignore the seasons when he was below average.

  10. spudart Says:

    I'm also interested in players who get on base at least one time during the game, here's the top five:
    Frank Thomas 1758 Ind. Games
    Jeff Bagwell 1758 Ind. Games
    Derek Jeter 1737 Ind. Games
    Wade Boggs 1725 Ind. Games
    Edgar Martinez 1719 Ind. Games
    There's Jeter again.

    And i'm also interested in who avoided the oh-for, so here's the list of getting at least one hit (not including walks). I call it the "avoiding the oh-for" list:

    Derek Jeter 1539 Ind. Games
    Tony Gwynn 1517 Ind. Games
    Pete Rose 1474 Ind. Games
    Paul Molitor 1471 Ind. Games
    Wade Boggs 1471 Ind. Games
    Well, lookit that. Jeter is on top.