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Scouts would take Derek Jeter over Jose Reyes right now? Really?

Jun 3, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

derek jeter yankees yawning

Sabermetricians are often told to get their heads out of their spreadsheets and to watch some baseball.  The people who say that sort of thing often defer to their own eyes or the eyes of scouts when it comes to analysis. Then you read stuff like this story from Andrew Marchand at ESPN New York in which scouts are said to prefer Derek Jeter over Jose Reyes — and in one case Hanley Ramirez — at shortstop right now and you wonder what they’re smoking.

I’ll give Jeter durability over Reyes right now. But that’s all I’d give him.  In no way, however, would I select Derek Jeter over Jose Reyes if I had to put together a team for the rest of 2011.  And apart from the scout that Marchand spoke to, I’m not sure who would.

  1. catsmeat - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    With his preference for old, declining players, I’m guessing that the anonymous AL scout is actually Brian Sabean.

  2. kopy - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Man, I’ll take some of whatever that scout is having.

    • kopy - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      I’m also surprised he has Jeter as the 9th best SS in MLB behind 8 guys that don’t include Stephen Drew.

  3. deathmonkey41 - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Craig, I’m just curious why you chose a picture of Jeter in mid-yawn as opposed to one of him- let’s say- out with his little hottie girlfriend as the gobs of money that fall out of his pockets are illuminated in a golden aura formed from the sun reflecting off all those championship rings?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      Not sure. It just spoke to me for some reason.

    • skeleteeth - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      He is sleepy from searching the Intangibles Lost & Found all night long…

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:18 AM

      I would use this pic for now on- unfortunately he ran out of fingers on that hand though…

  4. cur68 - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Yunel Escobar, the Jays’s SS, is a better SS then Jeets. Out hits him, great range, and a terrific arm, and I’d still take Reyes ahead of Escobar. Hell, my dog Bella, a border collie, is a better fielder than Jeets AND she never gives dirty looks to any one (well, maybe the cat next door, but that thing earns it).

    To the scout who thinks Jeets > Reyes; I quote Pop Fisher,

    “You need my glasses?”

    • yankeesfanlen - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:38 AM

      ALL border collies are better fielders than Beep-beep, and most outhit him.

  5. nps6724 - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    But Derek Jeter is a winner and a leader who has heart and an undeniable spirit that allows him to lead his team to victory. And he doesn’t let silly things like stats get in the way of winning.

  6. dailyrev - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    How amazing! A reporter got muddy, worthless analysis from anonymous sources! When was the last time this happened in any American journalistic medium? How can a news source who refuses to allow his name to be used with his statement — who will only allow himself to be identified as “scout” — possibly be less than credible?

  7. thefalcon123 - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Taking bad fielding 37 year old with a a slugging percentage just 4 points above his pretty poor on base percentage over in-his-prime shortstop with the slash lines that would make for an excellent left fielder makes total sense! Sure, Reyes may hit better, get on base more, steal more bases, get more extra base hits, field better and be a decade younger….but where is the leadership? That’s all that really matters!

  8. CJ - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Clearly they’re delusional. Heck, right now, I’d take Wilson Valdez over Beep Beep.

    Stats per AB (I went with AB since Valdez doesn’t always play full games, so I felt that was the best way to compare apples to apples):

    Beep: .15 .26 .01 .005 .03 .07 .09 .12 .02
    Valdez: .13 .24 0.0 0.0 .06 .06 .05 .15 .008

    It’s actually pretty close IMO. The fact that Valdez comes, oh $14 M or so cheaper and is a far better closer clearly puts him over the top,

    • Jonny 5 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM


      • CJ - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        truth hurts.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:00 PM

        Did you account for Valdez hitting into SS for a double play at every AB that didn’t go for a hit as well? Because that guy drives me nuts with that sh—. If I were Charlie, I’d pull him every time a guy is on base in front of him (ok maybe not, but you catch my drift). But he can pitch after you burn through your bullpen, that’s a plus right?

      • CJ - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        GDP wasn’t listed where I looked up the stats, so no I didn’t account for it. However, IIRC Jeter isn’t the best in that regard either. I could be mistaken though.

        In any event, even if the numbers greatly differ, you could just net that out of the difference in pay. I’d still take Valdez.

        Even look at it conversely: Right now, would you deal Wilson Valdez for Jeter? I sure wouldn’t.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        LOL!! I’m not trying to say Jeter is my choice. Just bringing it up because I don’t recall a person ever hitting into more DP’s than Valdez. Sometimes I actually wish for him to strike out. Which I stopped because it seems when I do he grounds into another DP. Uggg.

  9. yankeesfanlen - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    It might be somewhat telling on many levels that my fantasy league SS is Jose Reyes.

  10. aronmantoo - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    An old Indian scout maybe, But c’mon Jeter couldn’t carry Reye’s spikes at this point of his career

  11. paperlions - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Right now, Jeter hits like Brendan Ryan and plays defense like Betancourt; that’s not exactly the combination most teams are looking for at SS.

    • thefalcon123 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:01 AM

      How insulting! Brendan Ryan’s OPS+ is 17 points higher than Jeter’s!

      • paperlions - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        Yeah, I know….but that’s probably within the margin for error on the associated sample sizes.

  12. Kevin S. - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Craig, let’s be honest – the people who tell sabermetricians to get their heads out of the spreadsheets and watch some games are listening to batting average, RsBI, and pitcher wins. I guarantee you they aren’t watching more baseball games than I am.

    • Paul Zummo - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      That old meme is really silly when you think about it. If a guy is compulsive enough about baseball that he’s developing all sorts of equations and stats in order to evaluate talent, you’re gonna tell me that same guy isn’t watching the games? Like he’s going to spend that much time on a sport he doesn’t even watch?

  13. yankeesfanlen - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Don’t you normally trade in a vehicle just as the 3000 hit warranty expires?

  14. spudchukar - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Yes the scout’s statement is foolish. But to dismiss other forms of analysis due to one outlier doesn’t really help the discussion. As posted here Fangraphs considers Daniel Hudson and Matt Garza the 9th and 10th best players in the NL. Scrutiny of both philosophies needs to be continued.

    • paperlions - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:09 PM

      Of course, but that is the thing about the evolution of metrics; if they evince undesirable characteristics, the origin of those characteristics is investigated and once identified changes are made to enhance the ability of the metric to measure what it is supposed to measure. All encompassing metrics like WAR can be difficult, especially when attempting to compare across positions, and most especially for comparisons of position players to pitchers…does pitcher WAR include hitting, fielding, and base running?

    • paperlions - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:10 PM

      ….and the problem with relying on opinion is that there is no systematic way to improve on subjectivity.

    • spudchukar - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      Except a more insightful and intelligent opinion. And it is the common sense opinions that point out the obvious inaccuracies in a noted stat. The stat itself has no subjective ability nor should it. In my humble opinion any scientific approach that enhances the evaluation of player’s production is great for the game. But sabermetrics has already become so dogmatic that any criticism does not bring re-analysis but rigid indiscretion.

      • cggarb - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:29 PM

        But sabermetrics has already become so dogmatic that any criticism does not bring re-analysis but rigid indiscretion.

        I have read this sentence eight times, and still have no clue what it’s supposed to mean.

      • spudchukar - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        Here let me help you. Eight really? I consulted Webster’s before settling on the use of indiscretion, as I was uncomfortable at first with the usage. However, further consultation indeed affirmed my original choice, so I kept it. INDISCRETION: Lack of good judgment; imprudence.

      • paperlions - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:58 PM

        Come on spud, you should know that isn’t true….if it was, then there would not be a constant steam of modifications to the metrics or interpretations of the metrics. FG and BR are tinkering with their versions of WAR all the time and each changes regularly in an attempt to improve them. Same thing with the defensive metrics. There are too many people working on these things and too much overt recognition of their imperfection for ANYONE to say: “yep, that’s got it, no need to think about this anymore.”

        No one in Sabermetrics is dogmatic about any of the stats.

      • spindervish - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        Yeah, I’m still pretty sure you chose wrong.

      • spudchukar - Jun 4, 2011 at 1:05 PM

        PL, you must be joking. Daily, one sabermetric stat is trumpeted as evidence, in support of another sabermetric stat, with the conviction of a scripture spouting fundamentalist evangelical. Just because there are alterations or adjustments to some sabermetric stat hardly negates the dogmatic defense system that is erected at the slightest hint of criticism.

        I tend to believe the creators and developers of the sabermetric system may well be hard at work refining the system. But as the case here, as in fundamental religions, it is the followers that are incorrigible. Blind Faith acceptance and unquestioning allegience is the rule in these comments and criticism results not in quality discourse, but in accusations of blasphemy and heresy.

  15. sdelmonte - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    ESPN’s New York site is madly in love with Jeter. While this is far more pleasant than seeing endless stories bashing A-Rod, it does seem to set the tone for all their baseball coverage.

  16. canemh - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    love it–love the jealousy and hate for the capt. and future first ballot hall of famer.

    • spindervish - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:19 PM

      Yes, that’s definitely what it is. People like yankeefanlen and nps67 clearly hate Jeter and the Yankees. It has nothing to do with the fact that anyone who would state that Jeter is a better shortstop at this moment than Jose Reyes has their head up their ass.

      • cur68 - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:52 PM

        canemh would answer but he’s lookin for a flash light ’cause its dark where he is and an open flame might be risky.

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