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Yankees Chasing Records: A-Rod and Jeter

By Brian | August 27, 2009 | Share on Facebook

Rooting for the Yankees has always meant more than aiming at the current year’s World Series; the bigger picture has also included their place in baseball’s history. This era is no exception, with the principal players being Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Here’s a quick analysis of where they stand with regard to home runs and hits, respectively:

Alex Rodriguez is chasing Barry Bonds’ lifetime home run record of 762 home runs. He currently stands in 9th place with 575, at the age of 34. Interestingly, if he ends this season with 30 home runs, and then hits 30 in each of the next six years (when he’ll be 40 years old), he will end the 2015 season with exactly 763 home runs. Given that A-Rod has averaged 42 home runs per year since 1996 (his first full year), I’d say 30 per year until he’s 40 is very doable. Of course, if he continues to average 42 per year, then he’d end the 2015 season with 847. If this year is any indication, though, that’s likely a stretch goal at best.

Derek Jeter’s story is not as encouraging. Pete Rose holds the all-time hits record with 4,256 hits. Derek, at the age of 35, currently sits in 59th place with 2,704 (NOTE: the hits category is much more dense than the home run category – Derek’s next 25 hits move him up seven slots). If Derek ends this season with 200 hits, and then averages 200 hits until he’s 40 (the 2014 season), he will end his career with 3,735 hits, putting him in fourth place all-time, just 36 hits behind #3 – Hank Aaron, and 521 hits behind Pete Rose. To reach Rose, he’d have to continue to average 200 hits until he was 43 years old (2017). Add to this the fact that Jeter’s averaged 194 hits per year since 1996 (also his first full year), so 200 per year is not a slam dunk like A-Rod’s 30 home runs per year seems to be (barring injury, of course). Not that fourth place on the all-time hits list is anything to sneeze at, of course, but #1 is looking pretty bleak right now.

Topics: Sports Talk | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Yankees Chasing Records: A-Rod and Jeter”

  1. Zack says at August 27th, 2009 at 10:28 pm :
    Prediction #1: Derek Jeter will never be the all-time hits leader. He’ll retire with an awe-dropping total, but shy of 4,000.

    Prediction #2: Alex Rodriguez will eclipse neither Hank Aaron nor Barry Bonds as the all-time leader in homeruns.

  2. Brian says at August 27th, 2009 at 10:53 pm :
    Zack – I’m with you on Prediction #1, but what’s your reason behind Prediction #2? Injury? Massive drop in productivity (>25% per year)?

  3. Zack says at August 28th, 2009 at 11:19 am :
    A-Rod will absolutely not be as productive over the next six seasons as he has been in the last thirteen. In fact, I would be surprised if he’s still playing baseball at 39 or 40. He’ll probably get hurt a few times, but nothing career-ending. But expecting that kind of continued production from a player throughout his late-30s who has but is no longer juicing is crazy. The game is much more cruel than it was when Aaron hit his 755 and certainly more cruel than when Ruth hit his 714. It’s awful tough to last as long these days and its nearly impossible to continue to produce that much offense beyond fifteen years or so. If Rodriguez is still playing at 40, it will be as a Gary-Sheffield-esque joke, shell of the player he once was. My prediction: He’ll retire with a homerun total in the mid- to high-600s.

  4. Brian says at August 28th, 2009 at 11:39 am :
    You make good points, but remember – he’s averaged 42 HR/year thus far. Averaging 30 per year from here on out would be a drastic drop in production. Also, I’m not suggesting he’ll hit 30 each and every year. If he hits 40 three times, he can hit 20 three times and wind up in the same place. Even Sheffield has 10 this year, and that’s in just 94 games…


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