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  1. I’ve always said the only difference between Jeter and Michael Young is the quality of Jeter’s teammates over the years…

    Comment by DonCoburleone — April 12, 2011 @ 1:41 am

  2. Reaching. As much as I hate that Jeter is massively overrated, he’s not comparable to MY.

    Comment by KB — April 12, 2011 @ 1:42 am

  3. Eno, just a small correction, but Jeter is two years older, not younger, than Michael Young. I did have to check to make sure.

    Comment by nolan — April 12, 2011 @ 2:58 am

  4. I feel the quote was more a comment on the longevity and offensive consistancy than overall production.And if your are going to be ambiguous on position a Tejada reference is necesary.

    Comment by TheGrandslamwich — April 12, 2011 @ 3:34 am

  5. this. i have to believe Winfield was not saying that quote in a statistical way either.

    Comment by Captain — April 12, 2011 @ 8:51 am

  6. Also, Dave Winfield says lots of stuff … not much of it is incredibly insightful, but in the realm of “baseball talk from a baseball guy”.

    Dave Winfield is good at being Dave Winfield. That’s not an insult or a compliment, just stating that Dave does a good job at giving perspective from a former player’s view. His commentary is of varying quality, and rarely very deep.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 12, 2011 @ 9:59 am

  7. longevity with team, leadership role, steady play, face of franchise for some time, the one the other teammates look up to, yes, i can see Young=Jeter for their respective teams. No, not a statistical equality or comparison, but a team role/position one yes.

    Comment by Cidron — April 12, 2011 @ 10:11 am

  8. … and ~20 WAR (over the same year span, much more career difference).

    I would LOVE to say that the difference between Jeter and Young is “teammates”. But, that’s not the case. No matter what lens you look through, those two images aren’t the same.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 12, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  9. I think that’s what he was saying, but he just worded it awkwardly.

    Comment by Xenophanes — April 12, 2011 @ 10:57 am

  10. Well, you’ve always been wrong.

    Comment by Matt — April 12, 2011 @ 11:35 am

  11. Take a quote out of context and prove it “wrong”. Fangraphs being Fangraphs.

    Comment by puffy — April 12, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  12. If only there were an article to read about this!

    Comment by Steve — April 12, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  13. Yeah, I didn’t expect there to be anything in there. I actually took the stance that I was going to try and prove Winfield RIGHT despite the obvious problems with his statement. And I think if you bore down far enough, he had a point. Maybe not the one he meant to make, but there was something there.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — April 12, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

  14. This is how I interpreted the comment. However, even this comparison is off.

    Comment by neuter_your_dogma — April 12, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

  15. Highly overpaid, poor defense, throw a fit when talked about having to move from SS for a better player, almost left their team in the offseason. Seem pretty similar to me.

    Comment by Rob — April 12, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

  16. I’ve made the same comparison in my mind. There are some very obvious similarities between Young and Jeter. Both play(ed) shortstop, but were more good hitters who could play the position, and not necessarily great defensive shortstops.

    Young probably had a little more power than Jeter. Jeter had a better BA and drew more walks, making him consistently better at getting on-base than Michael Young. Jeter was also a much bigger threat on the bases, stealing 323 bases with a 79% success rate. Young stole just 81 bases, and was successful in 75.7% of his SB attempts.

    Although he was never an elite defensive shortstop by any stretch, Jeter was probably a better defensive shortstop than Michael Young. Both players have been very durable over their careers – Jeter has fourteen seasons with 148 GS; Young has eight such seasons.

    A main reason behind difference in their career totals is that Derek Jeter’s career took-off at a younger age than Young’s. In his rookie season in 1996, Jeter batted .314 with 183 H, a .370 OBP, an .800 OPS, 104 R, and 78 RBI. Jeter turned 22-years-old in 1996. Jeter improved over the next several years, and then maintained that level of performance through 2009.

    Michael Young didn’t reach the major leagues until he was nearly 24-years-old, and those were two AB’s he had a September call-up in 2000. Young started 106 games in 2001, batting .249 with .699 OPS. In 2002, Young batted .262 with a .690 OPS and a .302 wOBA.

    It wasn’t until 2003, when Young was 26-years-old, that Young had his first impact season, batting .306 with 204 H, a .785 OPS, a .342 wOBA and 106 R. Even that season wasn’t quite on par with Derek Jeter’s rookie season. Jeter basically had a six-year head start on Young when it comes to compiling career totals.

    Many people continue to say that Derek Jeter is overrated. Perhaps he is overrated in some circles. When one looks at his statistics, however, one must admit that this player was consistently productive in a very competitive field for a very long period of time.

    Comment by waynetolleson — April 12, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

  17. Miss the point and post an empty “criticism”. Fangraphs commenters being Fangraphs commenters.

    Comment by joser — April 12, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

  18. A few years ago when I first started writing for Hardaball Times, I thought up a list of topics and one was a comparison of Young to Jeter. Thinking they were similar offensive players, poor defenders, and Young toiled in obscurity because he wasn’t a Yankee.

    A few minutes of research threw that idea in the trash. Jeter has a substantially higher OBP and does so without benefit of a great hitter’s park. Young is at best a poor man’s Jeter.

    Comment by Rally — April 12, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

  19. I agree. There are obvious parallels. Jeter is to the Yankees as Young is to the Rangers. This does not mean Jeter=Young. I don’t see how anyone could interpret that Winfield’s statement meant Jeter=Young.

    Comment by adohaj — April 12, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

  20. Follow British English rules of placing the period outside of the quotation marks of a quoted phrase or word. Fangraphs commenters commenters being Fangraphs commenters commenters.

    Comment by Joser.2.0 — April 12, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

  21. Totally agree.

    Like I said, a few years ago I threw in the towel in being President of the Jeter Hater Club. I got tired of losing. One can only say “he’s an over-rated defender” so many times before it pales in comparison to all of the areas that he is superb (or at least really good).

    I really like Michael Young, but he has not turned out to be the player I thought he would. It would be awesome if we could show that some under-rated guy was Jeter’s statistical equal but only received less fanfare because he did not wear the NY over his heart.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 12, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

  22. Konerko is the Albert Pujols of the White Sox. *grin* There are some parallels.

    If Michael Young was the franchise shortstop of the Rangers, that would be a key parallel. He’s not. He used to be way back when. But, he’s not.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 12, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  23. Jeter blows Young away. But nowadays, it’s pretty close.

    Comment by Joe — April 12, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  24. But WAR is to some degree a counting stat, right? Even if their wOBAs and UZRs were constant, wouldn’t Jeter have a higher WAR than Young because he gets more plate appearances due to playing with a better offense?

    Comment by AJS — April 12, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

  25. so you didnt read the article, did you?

    Comment by fredsbank — April 12, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

  26. Very similar. Slight edge to Jeter. Better athlete.

    Comment by Bill — April 12, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  27. You can pro-rate stats all you want, but penalizing Jeter for establishing himself as a star in the majors much earlier than Young is foolish.

    Comment by Mike R. — April 12, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

  28. I find it hillarious that those who claim that Jeter is the most overrated player evah are just as disoriented with advanced statistics as those enamored with Jeter.

    Comment by Mike R. — April 12, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

  29. WAR by Age (Jeter vs. Young):

    21: 2.6 to Minors
    22: 4.3 to Minors
    23: 6.5 to Minors
    24: 7.5 to 0.0
    25: 3.8 to 1.1
    26: 4.3 to 2.5
    27: 5.4 to 2.5
    28: 4.0 to 4.2
    29: 5.0 to 3.9
    30: 4.5 to 2.4
    31: 6.2 to 2.4
    32: 3.5 to 3.9
    33: 3.7 to 2.7
    34: 7.1 to N/A
    35: 2.5 to N/A

    *I didn’t bother with WAR/150 because both players didn’t miss much time to injury. Keep in mind that at age 28 Jeter is easily the victory barring the dislocated shoulder.

    So what have we learned here? During an interval in which Michael Young was OPSing in the low .800s in A ball, Jeter was the best player in the entire American League (1998-1999). Not only did he provide significant value at a younger age than Young, his age 34 season at which Young is already cooked absolutely obliterates Young at his peak (and it’s not like that was Jeter’s best year either).

    Teammates? As if that argument was faulty enough, throughout Young’s career he has been helped by one of the game’s best offenses in the best hitter’s park in the American League.

    Next you can check out Home-Away splits where hillarity will ensue. Jeter’s road OPS is 16 points higher than Young’s total OPS WITH inflated Arlington numbers.

    Lastly, Jeter is at a disadvantage with UZR data. Whereas UZR has been compiled since 2002 when Young was 25 years old and at his physical peak, the majority of UZR compiled for Jeter was 28 and upward. Of course, it’s probably negligible because we all know he is a terrible fielder.

    Peak: Jeter>>>>>>Young

    Longevity: Jeter >>>>>Young

    I wonder who’s better…

    Comment by Mike R. — April 13, 2011 @ 12:07 am

  30. huh, musta lost my last reply – I don’t wonder who’s better. This article was an exercise – could I find any context whatsoever in which the two were comparable.

    I tried to get it close – the last three years – but even then, when you’re giving Young the two years, the positional differences, a little bit of love, his home numbers… even then it’s not really close.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — April 13, 2011 @ 12:15 am

  31. Not in response to you, my friend.

    But thanks for giving me a chance to clarify

    Jeter vs. Yount is a much more interesting comparison.

    Comment by Mike R. — April 13, 2011 @ 12:17 am

  32. Winfield doesn’t say MY is the same as DJ but that he is a version of him on another team. He may be hinting that the drop from NYY->TEX is the same as DJ->MY.

    Comment by willreno — April 13, 2011 @ 3:12 am

  33. I love me some fangraphs and Eno Sarris but this is the most off the mark article I have ever read on this site. You completely miss the point of Winfield’s statement. If you must analyze it from a statistical perspective then you should have looked at the following: longevity, ranking on respective franchise leader boards (ex. hits, all star game appearances, WAR), and even popularity (jerseys sold compared to teammates).

    You needed to compare the two with respect to their own franchise first. If you had, you would have discovered that Winfield more accurate than not.

    Comment by BKP — April 13, 2011 @ 8:56 am

  34. I think Winfield missed the point that Young is not the Rangers’ franchise shortstop.

    That, in itself, seemingly ends the comparison.

    I don;t think that Winfield realizes that Young is no longer the “staple” or face of the franchise the way Jeter is to the Yankees.

    I think most people get what Dave is saying, they’re/we’re just saying “No, Dave … Young is not to the Rangers what Jeter is to the Yankees.” Then, people are providing evidence as to why they feel that way.

    Had Winfield made this comment in 2008, it would probably be much more accurate.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 13, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  35. “I think Winfield missed the point that Young is not the Rangers’ franchise shortstop.”

    I didn’t hear exactly what Winfield said, so I don’t know the exact context of his remarks. I don’t believe that when Winfield made the comparison that he meant that Michael Young was Derek Jeter’s (statistical) equal. Rather, I believe that he simply meant that the players, both middle infielders, have been important parts of their teams and communities for a decade strong.

    No, Michael Young and Jeter are not bookends. Jeter has played for the Yankees for seventeen years now. He was the Yankees first-round draft pick in 1992 – the sixth pick overall – making this Jeter’s twentieth year with the Yankees organization.

    Michael Young was drafted by the Blue Jays in 1997, and arrived in the Texas organization via a 2000 trade between the Blue Jays and Rangers with the Jays getting Esteban Loaiza, and the Rangers getting Michael Young (and another player who never really made it in the majors).

    Jeter has been with the Yankees nearly twice as long as Young has been with the Rangers.

    All in all, it’s not an exact comparison. There are some strong similarities between the players, especially at certain points of their careers. Jeter, however, was a better player, and sustained his level of excellence for a longer period of time.

    Comment by waynetolleson — April 13, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

  36. Yes. Like every other counting stat, when you hold rate stats EXACTLY THE SAME whoever gets more attempts will have higher counting stats. Though I’m not sure how that is relevant to this.

    Comment by Garrett — April 14, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  37. Anyone with a passing understanding of advanced statistics should be enamored with Jeter. Inner circle HOFer? No. One of the 50 best position players ever? Possibly. First ballot HOFer? Almost without question.

    Jeter is highly underrated by the “intelligentsia”.

    Comment by Garrett — April 14, 2011 @ 11:05 am

  38. This was an interesting article, Mr. Sarris, and I thank you for taking the time to research and write it. However, I now see that I did not understand your goal until I read this comment. (I thought you were seriously trying to compare the two players’ performance.)

    Perhaps next time, if you state your premise or intent more plainly, we readers will better follow your thinking.

    Comment by Scooter — April 14, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  39. I don’t think stat people disagree with the level of praise Jeter has received. It’s the things he’s been praised for. The mainstream media often laud Jeter’s defense, which is bad. They often praise him for leadership and just ‘willing his team to win,’ which may well be true, but it’s at best a small factor. They point to his awesome postseason performance, in spite of the fact that his overall postseason line is pretty much exactly the same as his overall career line.

    Meanwhile, Jeter isn’t praised so much for the thing he should be praised for: being a fantastic offensive shortstop. He’s a possible top-50 all-time player just because he hit so well from such an anemic position. He’s also never won the MVP award, despite deserving it in 2006.

    In other words, the treatment Jeter has gotten from the mainstream media is absurd. They correctly by-way-of-incorrectly praise him as an awesome player, but the reasoning behind it is totally wrong.

    Comment by Ian R. — April 14, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  40. Incorrectly pluralize the first use of the word ‘commenters’ when it should be ‘commenter.’ Fangraphs commenter commenter commenters being Fangraphs commenter commenter commenters.

    Comment by Ian R. — April 14, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  41. The premise of the point is invalid, rendering the point moot. Less stupid people realize this.

    Comment by puffy — April 15, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

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