Over the course of the last 18 MLB seasons, perhaps no player in the game has held more sentimental value in fantasy baseball than New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Recently, the iconic player announced via Facebook that he will retire after the 2014 season, setting the baseball world abuzz. The debate has begun on exactly how big of an impact he has had, and where he belongs in comparison to other legends of baseball.
The 2013 season was a difficult one for Jeter as he was only able to play in 17 games and batted .190 with one HR and seven RBIs. Prior to that, Jeter had not played in fewer than 119 games in a season other than when he was first called up to the show in 1995, when he appeared in only 15. Plain and simply, he has been as durable as any other player to ever cross over the foul line and onto a baseball diamond.
While Jeter was hindered by injuries in 2013, all reports indicate he is healthy and should be able to play an entire season during the 2014 campaign. With it being his last, it is safe to expect that he will produce.
During the 2012 season, he stayed surprisingly healthy for a player his age, playing in 159 games and batting .316 with 15 HRs and 58 RBIs. While I suspect his power numbers could descend somewhat, he is a career .312 hitter with a .381 OBP and should be able to muster a .300 average and .365 OBP in 2014 by default.
Some will draft Jeter simply because it is the last time they will get the chance to. In reality, it is likely he is not a great option in standard leagues, but he could end up being a top-10 shortstop in AL-only formats. Drafting him is far from a reach, as shortstop has never been an overwhelming offensive position in fantasy baseball.