Derek Jeter's Hot Start in Perspective

April 11, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (2) doubles in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Derek Jeter is off to one of the best starts to a season in his long, illustrious career. Below is a chart of the first six games of each season of Jeter's career.

Year PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB BA OBP SLG
1995 24 22 4 6 2 0 0 5 2 .273 .333 .364
1996 23 18 6 6 0 0 1 1 4 .333 .478 .500
1997 31 26 6 13 2 1 0 2 4 .500 .581 .654
1998 29 25 4 5 1 0 0 3 3 .200 .276 .240
1999 28 22 11 10 2 2 2 7 5 .455 .571 1.000
2000 27 27 5 8 2 0 1 3 0 .296 .296 .481
2001 31 29 6 10 1 1 0 4 2 .345 .387 .448
2002 27 23 4 7 1 0 1 6 4 .304 .407 .478
2003 25 23 4 9 3 0 0 1 2 .391 .440 .522
2004 28 24 3 5 1 0 0 1 3 .208 .321 .250
2005 29 23 7 10 1 0 1 2 4 .435 .552 .609
2006 29 23 4 8 2 0 1 4 5 .348 .464 .565
2007 29 26 6 9 1 0 0 3 1 .346 .414 .385
2008 25 23 2 5 0 1 0 1 0 .217 .250 .304
2009 28 26 2 6 0 0 1 3 2 .231 .286 .346
2010 30 28 4 8 1 0 0 2 1 .286 .333 .321
2011 26 21 4 5 1 0 0 1 4 .238 .346 .286
2012 30 27 3 10 2 0 1 3 2 .370 .414 .556

Year PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB BA OBP SLG
Career Avg 27.7 24.2 4.7 7.8 1.3 0.3 0.5 2.9 2.7 .322 .379 .463

Although comparing the first six games of each of his seasons is a small sample size, I find it interesting that Jeter is off to his hottest start - by far - since 2007.

Jeter used to have a fairly uncanny ability to begin his seasons hot out of the gate, slapping hits to all fields and working plenty of walks. As he's aged, most notably since 2008, his seasons have taken a bit longer to get going (which one should reasonably expect).

Of all the incredible offensive powers New York has in the lineup, and all the discussion of Jeter needing to be moved down to the bottom of the lineup so that Brett Gardner can leadoff, "El Cap-i-tan" has been the best hitter thus far in the extremely young 2012 season.

I'm curious to see how long he'll maintain his fast start, but other players on the Yankees should begin to find holes in the defense and start getting on base with more frequency, rendering Jeter's eventual regression tolerable.

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