In my previous blog I decided to focus on Derek Jeter’s hitting and base-running statistics. I created Table 1 below which I called the Sum of Ranks Table. This table compared Derek Jeter to the 22 Hall of Fame shortstops who played at least 1500 games. The statistics I chose are the regular season career statistics of batting average (AVG), on-base percentage (OBP), slugging percentage (SLG), on-base plus slugging (OPS), number of hits (Hits), number of home-runs (HR), number of runs-batted-in (RBI), number of runs scored (Runs), and number of stolen bases (SB). Each player received a rank of 1 to 23 (1 being the highest and 23 being the lowest) for each statistic. The ranks of the 9 statistics were then summed for each player (the best possible sum would be 9*1 = 9 and the worst possible sum would be 9*23 = 207. Table 1 below has two columns; the column called SR is the sum of the ranks for the player and the column called FR is the player’s final rank.
A reader of this blog sent me an email asking the question: How would Bill James rank Derek Jeter against all Hall of Fame shortstops? For those of you unfamiliar with the name Bill James, his baseball formulas form the underpinnings for the book “Moneyball”. One method of answering this question is to apply Bill James’s Hall of Fame Standard Test to Jeter and the 22 Hall of Fame shortstops.Table 2 below ranks these 23 players using Bill James’s Hall of Fame Standard (HOF STD) Test. James’s HOF STD Test awards points based on certain batting and base-running statistics. Some examples of how points are awarded are: a player is awarded one point for each 150 hits above 1500, a player is awarded one point for each 100 stolen bases, and a player is awarded one point for each 200 home runs. You can read the complete list of how points are awarded in my book “Sandlot Stats” on pages 261-262. For the HOF STD Test the higher a player scores the higher his ranking. In Table 2 the column called HOF STD gives a player’s total points and the column called FR gives his final rank.
Some of my observations in comparing these two tables are:
- Both tables rank Wagner one and Jeter two.
- The same 8 players fill ranks 3-10 in both tables but not in the same order.
- In Table 1 the difference between Rank 3 and Rank 10 is only 13 points; in Table 2 the difference between Rank 3 and Rank 10 is only 12 points.
- In Table 1 the difference between Jeter’s Rank and Rank 3 is 29 points; In Table 2 the difference between Jeter’s Rank and Rank 3 is 9 points.
Both tables show that Honus Wagner is clearly number 1 and Derek Jeter is clearly number 2. This is evidence that when people discuss the greatness of Jeter they need not preface it by emphasizing his intangibles. Derek Jeter’s statistics alone say that he probably is the second greatest offensive shortstop of all-time. One may argue that my study is too limited since I only included Hall of Fame shortstops. I would welcome anybody to compare Jeter to all shortstops that played in at least 1500 games. To be considered a shortstop that player should have played a majority of his games at shortstop. Of course this would disqualify such players as Alex Rodriguez, who after returning from his suspension will eventually play more games at DH and third base than at shortstop.
Vince Burke said…
As an Orioles fan, even I am glad to see Jeter cuts it. He makes it hard for Orioles fans to hate the Yankees!
February 21, 2014 07:44:56