Grading 2012 and Looking Ahead – SS/3B

There’s been a ton of talk about change that is needed for the Yankees to go even further in the playoffs in 2013. Some suggest blowing the team up, while others suggest slight tweaking and bargain-bin signings could get the job done. But what most likely will not change, despite Yankee fans’ cries to, is the left side of the infield, which has been a constant for New York nine straight seasons, and should be again for its tenth.

Shortstop – Derek Jeter

Right now, when you think about Derek Jeter’s 2012 season, you’re still picturing him falling to the ground and being helped off the field in Game 1 of the ALCS. What would be a broken ankle put a startling and abrupt end to one of the Captain’s best seasons, even though his “prime years” have long past. The 38-year old recorded 216 hits (good for a .316 batting average) and was a true jumpstart to the lineup atop it as the leadoff man. His leadership at the plate and in the field matched no other, and say what you want about his range, but he did not cost the Yankees any games in 2012 and hasn’t cost them much more in his 18 seasons. We’ll keep replaying that injury in our minds up until the Captain takes the field again in 2013, which is unfortunate, because up until that moment we saw an incredible season from a future Hall of Famer and one of the true Yankees legends. Grade – A

2013 Outlook:

As great a season as he had this year, expect that ankle injury to slow some of Jeter’s abilities in 2013. We’ve all counted him out before, but it was because of age and not necessarily any physical derailment. Now, he just went under the knife and had surgery to completely repair the ankle, and won’t be back for 4-5 months. He could still start more games at shortstop than at DH, but expect Derek to get a lot of time off and the Yankees to treat him very cautiously. Even still, hitting wise, the man’s a god, and should put up numbers that will be heads and shoulders above any other 39-year old starting shortstop.

Third base – Alex Rodriguez

2012 was definitely a trying year for A-Rod, as once again he couldn’t stay healthy and missed 40 games in the regular season. But when he was on the field he was an above-average third baseman, and that’s saying a lot considering he too is past his prime. He is one of the best defensive third basemen in the game, and that alone was a big help to the Yankees in 2012. And yes, we all know he didn’t hit 40 home runs or was an MVP contender but that era of A-Rod baseball ended in 2007. 18 home runs, close to 60 RBIs and a .272 average are great statistics for a former steroid user who’s in what would be the twilight of a player’s career. Don’t blame him because Joe Girardi decides to bat him third or fourth every night. Grade – C+

2013 Outlook:

His postseason was absolutely horrible, I get that. But so too was any other Yankee player excluding Derek Jeter. So go ahead and come up with any trade ideas you think can get him out of New York, but it’s time to accept it: Alex Rodriguez will be the Yankees third baseman in 2013. Say what you will about his production in October, as detailed he still is a solid third baseman on all sides during the regular season. I expect similar numbers from him in 2013, and maybe even slightly bigger stats should he stay healthy. Which is a big “if”, and the Yankees probably should rest him a bit more than they did this year. But if they do, and A-Rod just does what he does best, and that’s hit, look for another good year from him, despite all his apparent issues this fall that were just simply a 9-game slump.

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About Brian D.

A passionate 15-year old Yankees fan who has hopes of becoming an MLB journalist or broadcaster. He brings an optimistic, yet realistic take on the Yanks to Yankees Fans Unite, and essentially lives and breathes baseball.

Posted on October 26, 2012, in Analysis and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Brian – Jeter deserves an A + for what he achieved at 38. Arod is right on the nose at a C+

  2. Brian…very well thought out.
    I think A-Rod should have gotten a B- and Jeter at A-, age has nothing to do with how well one had played the game this year! If you are grading them on hitting alone…I’ll go along with the A for Jeter and the C+ for A-Rod, otherwise I respectively disagree, Brian!
    Those that keep dragging up A-Rod not being able to stay healthy all year are just looking for something to make him look bad. Just for the record, he got hit with a pitch that broke his hand. Other than that, he was among the leaders on defense for 3rd baseman and healthy.
    Why is everyone thinking his being a former steroid user, over 6 years ago is going to have any effect on him now? Continual use of many years, is the thing that brings on the body breaking down, not less than 3 years of use.
    I don’t seem to hear anything about Andys’ use of drugs, and his body brake down why?

    • Brian – please excuse Ken for his rudeness….. Hemheroids .

      We all know Aroid probably used before and after the Yankees…Ken wants to believe different … Excuse him.

      It will one day come out and Ken will be eating crow ….thebsame crow he hadbto eat when Jeter had a great season this year.

    • I don’t know, to me it seems A-Rod has gotten a lot clunkier and his decrease in ability has somewhat to do with his PED use. 3 years is still a fairly long time. Pettitte took it what, twice in two separate years?

      • Brian D….thanks for the come-back. Yes, a bit chunkier….almost like Youkilis. Finally, there is a report in the Amsterdam News, that Andy may be still taking PED.

        • I googled the hell out of that last point and I couldn’t find the story. My heart tells me Andy only took it when he said he did, but at this point, nothing would surprise me in the game of baseball. Jeter would be the only true shocker.

          • Brian D…………will flush it out, on Saturday. And will get back to you. As you know, during the off season, take everything with a grain of salt. Take care, young man.

            • Thanks, and yeah, of course. The offseason is all speculation except for the finalizing of trades and signings. Even then nothing is certain. Talk to you soon.

              • My Irish bones are creaking………..be careful where you go with that!… I’ve had a catholic vision! Josh Hamilton will be a Yankee.

          • Jeter using would be a shocker is right but, l don’t count anything out. Andy was a shocker also. Have you really read the comments on A-Rods using?
            Andy is believed no mater what he says. A-Rod, no one wants to believe him. If they do for one than they must do it for all of the part-time users. Both lied about using before admitting it.

      • So he says Brian, but as with A-Rod, he 1st said he never used at all. Most of the time, if one is using, it will show up in his putting on a lot of mass and a loss of flexibility. Right now he is doing very well in the field, right?
        A-Rod is also one of many that are being tested every year. He has been clean for over 7 years. His hip problem is not part of his drug use because, there are a few guys that have had the same problem.

  3. Kenny/Old Yankee…..don’t you see my post to you? Just joking!……Three things young man a] Kevin Youkilis, good fit with the Yanks? Shave that beard, and off he goes. b] Salhaptica:..you are the only one old enough to of drank it. c] How did you make out on your court case? Hard time, or thrown out? Hard time?….could you still post from Attica?

  4. Brian D………..nice job on the above article….Alex, even with steroids [he said it was an accident]…could he bat lead off? In case Jeter does not come back? Not eight, or ninth…but lead-off.

    • A-Rod leading off? I don’t see it. I’d rather have Gardner or Ichiro if he returns leading off. Alex’s place in this lineup based on his abilities should be sixth, but Joe may still bat him even higher.

  5. I’m running out of breath! Last night I was posting to a Frog. Foxtrot Two Step, or something like that. He made sense. I know my style is a bit unorthodox, as to most that post here. Some have commented on that.They’ll get over it, life is too short……………………..Now, where did that Frog go?

  6. Tommy-Gun….stop this now, please. One of my true hero’s in life, the late Rodney King, said it best…”Can’t we just be friends?”…Don’ stand there laughing. Take the time out to read his book…”140 MPH, to Fame”.

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