Currently Historic: The Greatness of Jeter

I think we’re hitting our stride now. I want to especially think those of you who continue to submit oddities. I’ll try to start with a discussion of those every week. Stats are through Tuesday.

Bob Magee points out that Todd Helton (567) and Bobby Abreu (564) are trying to get into the top twenty in career doubles. Right now, Charlie Gehringer’s 574 hold that spot.

Edmundo Notes that the Phillies have lost all 16 games Joe Savery has appeared in. How unpleasant for him. We’ll keep an eye out and root for his fortunes to change.

I’ve mentioned, the last few weeks, that Derek Jeter was about to enter the top 10 in singles. He’s done that now. It looks as though, barring injury, he’ll finish the year sixth on that list as he only needs 58 hits to pass the next four players on that list, but he needs another 89 on top of that to move into fifth.

At the end of the year, the names ahead of him on the list will most likely be: Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Cap Anson, and Willie Keeler. That is some serious company. Even more to the point is that Jeter is currently in his 18th major league season (and his first was only a cup of coffee). Among the other members of the top 10 singles list, Keeler and Rod Carew both had 19 big league seasons. The others all had at least 20. The top four all had at least 24 years.

Which is a long way of saying that Derek Jeter has been very good for a very long time. Amazingly, he’s still productive at 38. Given his contract, it seems likely that he’ll be around for at least two more years. At which point, he should be a bit past 3,500 hits. That would place him fifth all time and he would have accomplished that feat in only 20 years. You have to go all the way down to Paul Waner at 17th to find another player on the all-time hits list with only 20 years of service time. Jeter past him earlier this year.

Jeter isn’t going to approach the all-time record unless he decides to play for ever, ala Pete Rose, but he has been a truly special players. I’ll continue to watch him and keep you posted when slides past someone (he’ll pass Ripken on the hits list any second).

Among those we’ve been regularly tracking, as I’m sure you all know, R.A. Dickey had a rough start and still sits on 11 wins. He no longer leads the league in either ERA or strikeouts, but still has a shot at the pitcher’s triple crown, especially this early. He’s also now on pace for “only” 24 wins, but there’s still plenty of hope that he’ll make it to 25. We’ll keep watch.

Joey Votto, it seems, is human. After a rough week, he’s now only third in the batting race, though he still leads the league in slugging and on base percentage. Thus his quest for the saber triple crown is very alive. Despite managing only one double for the week, he’s still on pace for 68, which would just squeak past the record of 67. He’s also still on pace to manage exactly 100 extra-base hits, and may still manage an insane 11 WAR season. This is after a bad week, mind you.

The only are of Votto’s performance we’ve been tracking that is of real concern is his OBP. Getting over .500 was never a likely thing, but unless he can get that .478 up a bit, it will be time to stop hoping for a while.

Adam Dunn didn’t hit a homer this week, and is still 12 away from 400. He’s also still on pace for 261 strikeouts. Unless he gets hurt, I don’t see anyway he doesn’t destroy the single-season K record. 70 more Ks to get to 2,000. A current pace of 436 TTOs. I just, I don’t know what to say. It’s ridiculous. Adam Dunn is a unique ball player. He may not be great, but he is unique.

And in brief:

Miguel Cabrera is eight home runs from 300. We’re still awaiting for Ryan Howard (286), but he should be rehabbing soon.

This space is going to shrink as we get deeper into the year, this list is going to shrink, and it’s time to stop tracking the hit totals of Bobby Abreu (2,423) and Todd Helton (2,413) who simply aren’t going to see 2,500 this year.

Alex Rodriguez had a good week with three homers. He’s now 18 away from Willie Mays. His 1,979 strikeouts bring him extra close to 2,000 with Adam Dunn. 2,000 RBI is probably the longest shot, but with 1,927, he still has a shot. He also passed Pudge for most hits by a player whose name ends in -ez.

Jim Thome has tied Sammy Sosa for seventh all-time. We’ll let you know when he passes Sammy.

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

Neither Abreu (395 SB) nor Jose Reyes (386) has stolen a base for two weeks. Of course, Reyes has a minor leg injury, so we’ll excuse that. Abreu just doesn’t run anymore, but he’s close enough we still have to keep an eye out. Jimmy Rollins (385) did manage another steal this week and continues his march to 400.

Nyjer Morgan doubled his RBI total last week (he has four now), and it doesn’t look like he’ll be setting any records for ineptitude this year.

As always, tell me what I’m missing and we’ll add it on.

Jason teaches high school English, writes fiction, runs a small writing program and writes about education and literature. He also writes for Redleg Nation and both writes and edits for The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @JasonLinden, visit his website or email him here.
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Leonidas Jones
10 years ago

How about David Ortiz, who is at 399 home runs.

Paul E
10 years ago

Let’s not forget Carlos I. Beltran: 400 doubles, 2000 hits…..following his 300th stolen base

bob magee
10 years ago

Jeter now tied with B Ruth for 48 all time doubles

Big Papi has highest % of hits as doubles for anyone with 400 or more – 26% of hits are doubles

his % with Boston is actually lower than 26% – with Minn it was over 27%

Only other player in top 200 doubles alltime over 24% is Mike Lowell.

Like Big Papi his % with Boston lower than his 1st stop with Marlins

Paul E
10 years ago

Bobby Magee:
    Re the lesser percentage of doubles at Fenway for Lowell and Ortiz, they both might just be the slowest, non-catcher baserunners of the last fifteen years. Perhaps the short porch in LF afforded LFers and CFers the chance to hold them to long singles?

bob magee
10 years ago

Paul E – makes sense.  They were also older with Bos so whatever passed for speed for those 2 was already going

Big Papi actually increased HR% by over 50%, so that probably a bigger reason

Lowell was just getting older