What Do The Stats Tell Us About A Wright and Jeter Comparison?
Updated by Joe D.
You can deny it all you want, jump up and down, throw a tantrum, or just ignore the facts – the choice is yours. But when you look at the evidence, there is no denying that David Wright has practically mirrored Derek Jeter in terms of overall production and value to the team during the regular season. In fact, Wright outproduced Jeter over a broad array of offensive and defensive measures.
Am I saying Wright should get the same accolades as Jeter who has been one of the best post season players in the history of the game? No, I’m not saying that.
But who’s to say that if Wright has outproduced Jeter as he has in the regular season, that he couldn’t have done the same or better if he was given the opportunity to play in 158 post season games and get 734 plate appearances like Jeter has? Are you familiar with the “Law of Averages”?
Recently, ESPN compared the two over the course of their regular season careers, which is the only fair comparison you can really make at this point:
Jeter: .313/.382/.448, .829 OPS, .365 wOBA, 1849 runs created, 116 RC/162 games
Wright: .301/.381/.506, .887 OPS, .376 wOBA, 936 runs created, 120 RC/162 games
Any way you slice the numbers, Wright has been a little more productive at the plate, mainly due to his power advantage; Jeter’s career high in home runs is 24, but Wright has topped that five times. What’s maybe most surprising is that Wright only trails Jeter by 12 points in batting average. While Jeter has hit as high as .349, .343, .339 and .334, Wright has hit .300 in six of his eight full seasons.
What Jeter has, of course, is longevity and durability. He’s played 150+ games for 13 seasons; the only players with more are Pete Rose, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Rafael Palmeiro, Brooks Robinson and Hank Aaron. Wright, however, has been durable as well. Other than 2011, when he suffered through a stress fracture in his back and missed two months, he’s played 160, 154, 160, 144, 157 and 156 games.
Overall, we’ll call this even since Wright hasn’t entered the down phase of his career. Obviously, he hasn’t had the career length of Jeter, but he’s been just as good.
But if you were to take their career WAR through their age 29 seasons, you would find that David Wright has outproduced Derek Jeter by .4 points.
Jeter: Five Gold Gloves, minus-229 runs saved (via Baseball-Reference)
Wright: Two Gold Gloves, minus-16 runs saved (via Baseball-Reference)
The defensive metrics have never liked Jeter’s defense, often rating him among the worst defenders in the game due to his lack range. You can complain all you want about defensive metrics, but they all agree that Jeter has long had the range of a three-toed sloth in the field. Now, the managers and coaches who vote on the Gold Glove Awards certainly would disagree with that assessment, since they’ve voted him the best shortstop in the American League five times. In 2005, Jeter rated at minus-27 defensive runs saved, one of the lowest totals of the past decade at any position AND WON A GOLD GLOVE.
Here’s the thing about the metrics: For the most part, they do agree with the common perception of the best fielders. Except, notably, with Jeter. Wright is probably a little overrated in the field as well. But he’s better than Jeter.
Jeter’s best seasons via bWAR: 7.8, 7.3, 6.4, 5.4, 4.9
Wright’s best seasons via bWAR: 8.1, 6.7, 6.7, 4.5, 3.8
Jeter’s five-year total: 31.8. Wright’s five-year total: 29.8.
So instead of going completely insane when the subject of Wright vs Jeter comes up, maybe you should take a deep breath and refer to the only tools we have available to do a fair comparison – a myriad of statistical evidence and the fact that going into their age 30 seasons, they have produced at near identical levels in the regular season.
We may never know what Wright could have done had he been afforded the opportunity to get 734 plate appearances in the post season rather than just 41, but the evidence is clear. In the regular season Wright (so far) has stayed on par with Jeter and even outpaced him both offensively and defensively in various areas.
Of course this is New York, and championships do matter. Wright never had the surplus of All Stars, Cy Young winners, Gold Glove winners, MVPs and future Hall of Famers that Jeter has always been surrounded with on the Yankees, only a non-realist would ignore that fact.
However, you can’t blame David Wright for something that was beyond his control. Instead look at guys in the $1,000 suits up in the owner’s box if you really feel the need to blame someone.
Original Post by Dan Valis
On Thursday, Mets’ owner Fred Wilpon came out and compared David Wright to the Yankees’ Derek Jeter, at least in terms of being the face of the franchise. You can read more thoughts on Wilpon’s comments from Adam Rubin at ESPN.
Here are the Mets owner’s comments:
“David is a unique player. He’s an All-Star,” Wilpon said Wednesday while touring Mets camp. “I think David is an All-Star in all things. He’s a great person. To me, he’s our Jeter. And I think you need a core. I don’t want to put it all on his shoulders. But he gets it. As far as I was concerned, he was not going anywhere.”
Fred’s comments flattered the star third baseman, but Wright felt he was a bit undeserving to be put into that category.
“In my eyes, that’s the ultimate compliment,” Wright said Friday about being linked to the Yankees’ shortstop. “I think it’s somewhat undeserving. But it’s humbling to be mentioned in the same sentence with him. I understand the rivalry within New York. At the same time, I don’t think you can give a player a bigger compliment.”
Here is Wright’s response to why he felt he did not deserve such high praise.
“The résumé kind of speaks for itself as far as what [Jeter's] done on the field. And, most importantly, he’s got a handful of rings. Literally, a handful,” said Wright, who has made one postseason appearance since his Mets debut in 2004. “I think that’s most important. All in all, like I said, it’s a tremendous compliment. I can’t think of a bigger compliment.”
It is very clear now that David Wright is guy. He has taken on that role at the highest level, as he is reaching out to players when they join the organization, as well as being the Mets face at media events. Wright will also probably be the Mets lone All-Star when the organization hosts the event later this summer.
What are your thoughts on the comments made by Fred Wilpon? Do you think David Wright is in the category of Derek Jeter when it comes to being the face of the Mets?
About the Author: Dan Valis
I am a staff writer for Mets Merized Online. I am a Mets team analyst with a focus on the minor league system, as well as the major league club. I am a lifelong New Yorker who was born and raised to be a Mets fan. The ups and downs of being a Mets fan is what makes following this team so much fun, but at times so frustrating. You can follow me on Twitter @BgAppleMetsTalk.
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