Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 1/27/12
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Derek Jeter‘s home run power was the subject of one of our top 100 offseason questions posts. Could he get the power back? Our conclusion was that he could get back to being a 10-homer guy like he was in 2010, but it would take some kind of special, throwback effort for him to really exceed that total. That’s just the life of an aging icon. Still, Jeter is probably a .300 hitter in a prolific lineup, and as long as he’s the Yankees’ starting shortstop, he’ll remain among the position’s top fantasy options.

Best case scenario: Starlin Castro (CHC)
Similar players: Howie Kendrick (LAA), Brandon Phillips (CIN), Erick Aybar (LAA) with fewer steals
Worst case scenario: Erick Aybar (LAA) with a lot fewer steals

Strengths

Runs, batting average, home, versus LHP. Jeter batted either first or second in every game he played last year. With guys like Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano following him in the lineup, it’s hard to imagine a healthy Jeter not scoring 100 runs. Even though he’s not a good source of homers, he does pop one every now and again at home. Once again assuming health, Jeter should accrue so many at-bats atop a lineup that turns over as much as any in baseball that his likely .300 average will carry extra weight, and he’s lethal against left-handed pitchers. For his career he’s a .338 hitter versus southpaws with averages of .395, .321 and .349 in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Weaknesses

Home runs. There aren’t many shortstops that can hit 15, 20 or even 30 homers, and Jeter probably won’t reach any of those benchmarks. Consider for a moment that Jeter hit one more homer last year than Elvis Andrus and four fewer than Erick Aybar.

ADP Report (125.6)

Jeter’s end-of-year rank has dropped in each of the last two seasons down to 95 last season, but that 95 rank came when he hit just six homers in 131 games. We would have ranked Jeter higher if age and injuries weren’t lingering concerns, but he has a very good chance at turning in a top 75 season. One could argue our rank of 117 might be a bit on the low side, and that makes his current ADP a steal.

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