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Derek Jeter's return: What can we expect from him this season?

At long last, the Yankees have their captain back, but what can we expect to see out of the 39-year-old shortstop?


After two serious ankle injuries and nine months of being off a Major League baseball field, Derek Jeter has returned, and not a moment too soon. All season long, the Yankees have starved for offense at pretty much every position on the diamond, including shortstop. There is little doubt that Jeter will provide more offense than what Yankee shortstops put up during the first 91 games (.216/.271/.273, 47 wRC+), but, from a wRC+ standpoint, what can the Yankees expect from their captain?

157 wRC+: Derek's 157 wRC+ is his career-high he set way back in 1999 at the age of 25. That was 14 years ago, believe it or not, and it was the seventh-best wRC+ in baseball, trailing Manny Ramirez, Mark McGwire, Larry Walker, Jeff Bagwell, Chipper Jones, and Edgar Martinez. Jeter posting a wRC+ like that seems pretty unlikely, to say the least, but stranger things have happened, I guess.

117 wRC+: Just last season Jeter posted a rock-solid 117 wRC+, good for third-best among Major League shortstops behind Ben Zobrist (who only played 47 games at short last year) and Ian Desmond. If Jeter posts a 117 wRC+, which isn't too inconceivable considering he did it just last year, it would be the second-best on the team behind Robinson Cano.

100 wRC+: A 100 wRC+ is exactly league average, and even if Jeter does this, it would be the second-worst mark in his career. An even 100 wRC+ out of a 39-year-old Jeter would be far from a disaster, though; it'd be 53 points higher than what Yankee shortstops have contributed thus far and it would be the third-best on the team behind Cano and Brett Gardner.

93 wRC+: Jeter posting a 93 wRC+ this year would match his career-low set in 2010. That year was obviously a tough one for Derek, but even if he repeats that type of production he'd be 10 points better than the average wRC+ of shortstops this season.

58 wRC+: Among qualifiers, 58 is the lowest wRC+ in baseball among shortstops. This 58 wRC+ belongs to ... Elvis Andrus. Yes, Elvis Andrus, offensively, is the worst shortstop in baseball. Generally a 58 wRC+ would be a nightmare, but it would be an upgrade over the production they've received so far. That's how bad Yankee shortstops have been this season.

Before you vote how Derek will do the rest of the season in the poll below, I want to link you to Fangraphs' explanation of wRC+ considering they can explain it a hell of a lot better than I can, just in case if you're unclear how the stat works.

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