Derek Jeter seems to be successfully recovering from his significant ankle break in which he collapsed on the field in the 2012 postseason as he works his way towards Opening Day against the Boston Red Sox, who are still attempting to recover from their September 2011 collapse.
The other hurdle Jeter is facing this spring, is that on June 26 he is turning 39. Perhaps its my never-ending respect for Jeter, but the Captain’s age worries me less in his ability to perform than many players five years his junior.
Having said that (Larry David‘s least favorite phrase), there are a limited number of players who have played short aged 39 and older.
Here’s the list of shortstops based on their age as of June 30
If you add the 482 Luke Appling listed hits (through age 42), Jeter’s current total of 3304, he would have 3786 hits which would enable him to pass Hank Aaron (3771) for third place on the all-time hits list, but still leave him 470 hits shy of record-holding Pete Rose‘s total of 4256.
Having said that, missing is Appling’s 1948 season when Old Aches and Pains, played 139 games but not 90% at shortstop, which is my basis for this list. In that season, Appling had 156 hits and when we add that total to Jeter’s numbers, he still falls shy of 4000 hits at 3942.
- In order for Jeter to reach 4257 hits, he needs 953 more hits, or an average of 190.6 hits over the next five seasons.
- In order for Jeter to reach 4000 hits, he needs 696 more hits, or an average of 174 hits over the next four seasons or 139.2 hits over the next five seasons.
Having said that, Jeter has averaged 624 at bats over the last five seasons and 190 hits (.304).
Since we are playing with meaningless hypotheticals, for argument’s sake let’s say that Jeter averages 600 at bats over the next four seasons.
- If that happens and Jeter gets 174 hits, he would have to average .290 a season.
- If he drops down to an average of 550 at bats and 139 hits over five seasons, he would average .253 a season, a number that I think that Jeter would find not worth the reward of getting 4000 hits and not even consider Rose’s record.