Why Yankee Fans should be in their seats before Derek Jeter bats

Derek Jeter recently announced through Facebook that the 2014 season would be his last. Immediately upon his announcement, ticket prices for Jeter’s final home game at Yankee Stadium soared. Before the announcement, tickets for the September 25th game against the Baltimore Orioles were selling for less than $100 on StubHub; however, within 10 minutes after the announcement all of those tickets were sold. By the end of the day, average ticket prices for the game were selling for over $1,100.

Due to the considerable cost for tickets and the opportunity to witness the final at-bats of a surefire Hall of Famer, it’s not a giant leap to suggest that Yankee fans get to their seats before Jeter steps into the batter’s box. Setting aside cost and nostalgia, the reason Yankee fans should be in their seats before his arrival to the plate is because Jeter may not be at the plate for very long. Derek Jeter has a reputation as a grinder, with a knack for fighting off tough pitches and driving at-bats into deep counts. However, as great as Jeter has been in deep counts, he’s also had remarkable success on the first pitch of at-bats during his career.

Derek Jeter has not been shy about swinging at the first pitch. Prior to his injury-plagued 2013 campaign, Jeter averaged 96 one-and-done at-bats from 2002-2012. Also including 2013, about 15.5 percent of all of Jeter’s total at-bats have been one pitch in length. Jeter’s aggressive approach at the plate has yielded significant results with a slash line of .365/.384/.526, all better than his overall rates in any count during the span.

In fact, in 2012, Jeter’s last full season, he was even more aggressive at the outset of at-bats. In 119 one-and-done at-bats, Jeter had another terrific year with a line of .345/.361/.479; about 17.4 percent of his total at-bats were of the one-pitch variety. It is unlikely that Derek Jeter’s aggressive approach will wane in his final season, so Yankee fans should be in their seats early for his final at-bats because some of them will only be one pitch long.

Derek Jeter’s First Pitch Success vs. Overall Rates

All Counts (2002-2013)

AVG

OBP

SLG

One-and-done At-Bats

.365

.384

.526

Rates in Any Count

.308

.375

.434

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