Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jeter deserving of 2010 All-Star start?

Derek Jeter has another substantial lead in the All-Star balloting this year, virtually assured of a starting spot on the 2010 team. It would be Jeter's 11th All-Star appearance and seventh start, a remarkable feat in this day and age. But has his play this year been All-Star worthy?

After a blazing start, Jeter has cooled off considerably at the plate. I wasn't worried about his May slump until last week, when the normally clutch Yankees captain failed with runners on base in several key situations and looked bad striking out. But he has also hit in extremely bad luck at times, with great defensive plays robbing him of several hits. He showed signs of life this weekend, especially with a 3 for 5 performance on Sunday night and a key hit right in the middle of the New York Yankees late rally attempt.

Watching him play in person on Saturday and Sunday, my main concern is his defense. After a superb defensive performance last year that earned him a well-deserved fourth Gold Glove, Jeter is having trouble going to his left on ground balls, missing a couple that he should have caught up to this weekend. Jeter has set the bar so high that we expect clutch hitting and great defensive plays, but we haven’t been getting them this month from him (or anyone else on the team for that matter).

Despite his struggles, I still want to see him starting the All-Star game. Baseball's All-Star week is a chance to celebrate the game's best players and there's no question that Jeter is in that category, even if he is having a bad month.

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