Much like superstar closer Mariano Rivera did last season, New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter has publically announced that this will be his final fantasy baseball season. He has been a fixture of fantasy lineups for close to 20 years, but all great things must come to an end.
But what exactly will Jeter’s fantasy value be in 2014?
Jeter is coming off a grueling ankle injury, and for the first time in his career, the first ballot hall of Famer ended the season on the DL. He broke his ankle during the team’s 2012 postseason run and he simply wasn’t able to get back on his feet. He tried to come back several times last year, and after four separate trips to the DL, Mr. New York managed to play just 17 games.
Entering his 19th season, Jeter is far from his prime. He is turning 40 towards the beginning of the season and the 13-time All-Star will be a very risky starting shortstop in almost every format. However, he can still have value in 2014 fantasy leagues.
DJ is still a lifetime .312 hitter and is much better than his .190 average last year would indicate. He has always been one of the hardest workers in the sport and and it is insane to think that Jeter will return to simply play mediocre baseball. He will walk back into the starting lineup, and considering all the talent brought in this off-season, Jeter could end up putting together a decent fantasy campaign.
Jeter isn’t the elite fantasy option he once was, but he will be an amazing backup shortstop to take a shot on anywhere after the eighth round. He should be able to play around 140 games in 2014 and finish with a batting average closer to .290. He will miss the occasional game, especially night games followed by day games, but he will be much better than the fantasy world expects.
2014 Projection: .289 Batting Average, 14 HRs, 87 Runs, 78 RBIs