When you take his age into consideration, you would probably assume 38-year-old Derek Jeter only has a few more productive seasons remaining in professional baseball. However, his numbers from the 2012 season make that seem like less of a certainty. Jeter’s 18th season in the majors was one of the most productive of his career. More specifically, he continued to rack up hits at an incredible pace. His 216 hits were the second-most of any season in his Hall of Fame career.
The question is how long can Jeter continue this production. Despite his incredible success, the Yankee captain is still 952 hits short of tying Pete Rose for the most in MLB history. He would need five more seasons of the same production to surpass that mark, and Rose doesn’t see it happening.
“I don’t think he will break the record,” Rose told Sports on Earth (via ESPNNewYork.com). “First of all, I don’t think he wants to leave the Yankees. And the Yankees, they’re about winning. Jeter had a great year this year, but he’s what? Thirty-eight years old? And he’s a shortstop? How many 40-year-old shortstops you see walking around? Not too many, right?
“And they can’t put him at third because A-Rod’s there. They can’t put him at second ’cause (Robinson) Cano’s there. He don’t help them in left field — he’s got to be in the center of things, you know what I mean? What are they going to do? Put him at first base?”
While New York fans may not want to hear it, Rose is right. Jeter would need five more seasons at his current pace to surpass Rose, meaning he would still have to be a 200-hit guy at age 43. The odds of that happening are very slim, even if he stays with the Yankees as a DH or some other position. Ozzie Guillen may have said it best when he made these comments about Jeter, but age catches up to everyone. If anything, Jeter further solidifies how amazing Rose’s career truly was.
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