Word on the street is that Yankee captain and shortstop Derek Jeter is 1,000 hits away from passing Pete Rose for the title of Hit King. Think about it for a minute. 1,000 hits is a lot. Averaging 200 for five years will net you that.
So of course, the pro-Yankee brigade, also known as ESPN, took the opportunity to let their world know of this statistic along with the fact that Jeter homered for three straight games for the first time in his career. And I’m here to let you know, that Jeter still has a tough road to hoe to get past Pete though.
I know it’s blasphemous to mention anyone passing Rose as the Hit King especially since Rose is still so beloved in Cincinnati, but the possibility exists. Repeat, it exists. I didn’t say it will happen.
Let’s look. Jeter currently leads all of baseball with 169 hits for this season. Provided the averages and all stay as they are, he will end 2012 with 224 hits. That will leave Jeter at 945 needed to eclipse 4,256. First, 224 is a lot of hits for a season plus we’re looking at Jeter continuing to hit at his current average of .324 for the remainder of the season.
Well, let say he does hold those averages. It will represent the 8th time in Jeter’s career he will have exceeded 200 hits in a season. That record is 10…held by Rose and Ichiro Suzuki.
Jeter will play in 2013 and most likely in 2014 as Jeter holds an option for that season. If he proceeds at his average number of hits over his first full 16 seasons of 192 hits a year, Jeter will amass another 384 hits. The projected 55 more for this season plus that 384 will still leave Jeter with 3,696 hits, or 561 hits away from passing Rose. By the end of 2014, Jeter will be 40. Using that same 192 average, Jeter would need almost three full seasons in order to pass Rose. And that’s provided Jeter stays healthy.
Maybe now, those that have poo-pooed Rose’s hits record can truly appreciate its status. Jeter would need almost five seasons averaging 192 hits a year to pass Pete Rose. Let that sink in.
With today being the “anniversary” of Rose accepting his lifetime ban from baseball, this hardly seems like a debate worth having. Not so. I will remember Peter Edward Rose every day regardless of circumstances.