One key to Jeter turnaround: hitting heat

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

#2 SS
New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM106
  • HR4

  • RBI48

  • R69

  • OBP.358

  • AVG.299

Derek Jeter certainly isn't letting issues in his personal life affect him at the plate.

The Yankees captain takes the field in Baltimore on Sunday on the precipice of .300. He's hitting .353 since coming off the disabled list, quite a departure from the soft .260 he was batting before a mid-June trip to the disabled list to repair a calf injury.

Jeter has more extra-base hits (13) in the last 44 games since coming of the DL than he did in the first 62. He also has doubled his RBI total and is hitting .475 over the last 14 games.

One statistical explanation for the resurgance? Jeter's ability to catch up to the fastball.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Jeter is batting .343 BA (12-35) vs pitches 93 miles-per-hour or faster since July 4. Prior to that, he was hitting .186 (11-for-60) in such situations.

Also, his line-drive percentage has jumped from 12% to 26%.

If you ask Jeter, he'll tell you he's just staying back at the plate and swinging at good pitches. But Joe Girardi theorized earlier this month that Jeter had a chance to relax and get away from the grind of the chase for 3,000 during his stint on the DL.

Also, Jeter insists he isn't yet worried about getting to .300.

"The season's not over. I'm trying to have good at-bats, get hits and thats about it," Jeter said late last week. "I'm trying to help us win. We've got a lot of season letft, so I'm not focusing on an average right now."