Yankees…. A short stop at Shortstop

The Yankees only used 4 players at shortstop during 2008. This was pretty much as expected. Derek Jeter OWNS this position and its pretty much guaranteed that he will continue to do so for the rest of his career. Here’s a survey of the performances at that position.

Derek Jeter (150 games). Jeter played 148 games at ss and 2 at DH. By his own standards this was a quieter year offensively.

 

Year

Team

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

TB

BB

SO

SB

CS

OBP

SLG

AVG

2006

NYY

154

623

118

214

39

3

14

97

301

69

102

34

5

.417

.483

.343

2007

NYY

156

639

102

206

39

4

12

73

289

56

100

15

8

.388

.452

.322

2008

NYY

150

596

88

179

25

3

11

69

243

52

85

11

5

.363

.408

.300

Career

 

8025

8025

1467

2535

411

57

206

1002

3678

813

1376

275

75

.387

.458

.316

In fact, it was more an inconsistent year than anything else. By September, he was batting .378 with a .425 OBP. The fact that his stats improved throughout the year bodes well for 2009. He is a certainty to be in the starting lineup on opening day.

Wilson Betemit (87 games). Betemit played 14 games at shortstop. The White Sox will have a good player in 2009. See my first base analysis for some comments on his season.

Alberto Gonzalez (28 games). Gonzalez played 14 of his games at shortstop. In both 2007 and 2008, he was a solid defensive player for the Bronx Bombers but he was a lightweight with the bat. By July 2008, his average had dropped to .173 and there were several other good defensive players available to back-up Jeter so the Yankees allowed him to depart for the Washington Nationals. Whether it was something to do with the drop in pressure in being away from New York or something else, his batting performance picked up in the limited time he saw at the plate for the Nationals. He collected his first major league home run and batted .347 in 49 at bats. He looks likely to continue with the Washington team in 2009.

Cody Ransom (33 games).  Ransom played just 9 games at shortstop. See my first base analysis for some comments on his season.

Jeter is, injuries aside, certain to be the mainstay at shortstop during  2009. Predicting his back-up is more problematic. Betemit and Gonzalez are gone and Ransom looked more confident in other fielding positions. Hopefully all will become obvious in spring training.

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