Derek Jeter Career Stats: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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As the tributes have poured in and the ceremonies have piled up, there’s been no shortage of debate over the legacy of Derek Jeter.

Is he on a short list of the greatest players of all time, or is he, as ESPN’s Keith Olbermann recently suggested, an overrated fraud who’s not even one of the 10 greatest Yankees of all time.

The truth, if you go by Jeter’s career numbers, is closer to the one painted by his staunchest supporters than the one painted by Olbermann.

Jeter is not one of the 10 greatest players of all time or probably even one of the 50. He’s not the greatest player of his generation, and in many of his 20 years in the big leagues, wasn’t the best player on his own team.

He is, however, indisputably one of the best 100 or so players of all time and arguably the greatest hitting shortstop in history among those not tainted by steroids. It’s a legacy the overwhelming majority of Major Leaguers — even star Major Leaguers — would love to have.

Let’s take a look at some key numbers:


1. He Has the 88th Best WAR of All Time

Derek Jeter

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Though not perfect, Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is probably the closest thing there is to a catch-all stat that measures a player’s total value over the course of his career. And as measured by WAR, Jeter is the 88th best player in history, with a career WAR of 71.8.

Jeter is considerably further down on the list than a host of players whose careers have received a fraction of the fanfare that Jeter’s has. He’s 20 spots on the list below Adrian Beltre, for instance, 25 spots behind Jeff Bagwell and a whopping 31 spots behind former Yankees teammate Mike Mussina.

But he’s also 19 spots ahead of Tony Gwynn and 17 ahead of Manny Ramirez. Gwynn is considered one of the greatest hitters of all time, while Ramirez was a prolific slugger who would be a first ballot Hall of Famer if not for twice testing positive for banned substances.


2. He Has 3,461 Hits, Most Ever by a Yankee & 6th Most All-Time

Derek Jeter

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When Jeter homered in 2011 for his 3,000th career hit, he became the first player ever to do so as a Yankee.

Hits is a drastically overrated stat, and Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, considered by many to be the two greatest hitters of all time, are 42nd and 73rd, respectively, on the all-time list. Still, Jeter is in quite good company at the top of the hits list. The only players with more are Pete Rose (4,256), Ty Cobb (4,189), Hank Aaron (3,771), Stan Musial (3,640) and Tris Speaker (3,514).

Jeter has the most hits of anyone in baseball by far during his career despite having only led the American League in the category twice: With 219 in 1999 and 216 in 2012. He’s been a model of consistency, finishing with 200 or more hits eight times.


3. His Career Average Is .309

Derek Jeter

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Jeter is a .309 career hitter despite having dropped off considerably over the last two years, hitting .190 in an injury-shortened season in 2013 and .253 in 2014.

Over a 12-year stretch from 1998 to 2008, he hit .300 or better 10 times and .320 or above seven times, including a career-best .349 in 1999 en route to leading the Yankees to their second of three straight World Series titles.


4. He Has an .810 Career OPS, the 5th Best Ever for a Shortstop

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Despite a decline in power over the last five years of his career, Jeter’s career OPS (on base plus slugging) is still among the best ever for a shortstop.

As he enters the final days of his career, Jeter has a .377 career on-base percentage and a .439 career slugging percentage. He ranks fifth all-time among shortstops, trailing only Nomar Garciaparra, Arky Vaughan, Honus Wagner and Joe Cronin.

His OPS is 29 points higher than that of Cal Ripken Jr., who’s often held up as the standard for offensive productivity at the position.


5. He Has 543 Career Doubles, the Most Ever by a Yankee

Derek Jeter

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His 543 doubles are the fourth most ever by a shortstop, trailing only Wagner, Ripken and Robin Yount among shortstops. They’re also the most ever by a Yankee, surpassing the team record of 534 set by Lou Gehrig. For comparison’s sake, Jeter enters Thursday’s game with 94 more doubles than long-time former teammate Bernie Williams, 101 more than Don Mattingly and 119 more than Ruth.


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