Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has received more than his fair share of criticism this year for his propensity to hit ground ball after ground ball, but Jeter answered his critics on Sunday by going 4-6 with 2 HRs, 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs. His home runs were his first two of the season.
Speaking of Jeter's ground ball issues, his ground ball rates since 2002 look like this:
So the trend is up, but he has always hit plenty of ground balls in his career, and he's never been much of a fly ball hitter. What he has been is a very good line drive hitter, but that trend is trending downward over the last three years in direct contrast to his ground ball rate-2009-20.3%, 2010-16.1% and 2011-12.7%. When a hitter hits a lot of line drives, the result is usually a hit. Compariing his line drive rate to his BA over the last three years, you can see a similar trend. His BA trend has gone as follows: 2009-.334, 2010-.270 and 2011-.276 (through Sunday).
His GB/FB rate, a stat that compares his ground ball rate to his fly ball rate, is a startling 4.24, and his ISO is just 0.026 coming into Sunday's two homer game.
Will this game help Derek Jeter turn his season around, or will he be the same ground ball hitting machine going forward?