Unfortunately, an array of injuries forced Derek Jeter into a shell of himself in 2013. The 13-time All-Star played in just 17 games and the New York Yankees‘ legend was called “washed-up” by just about anyone with a baseball pulse. However, Jeter has an entire offseason to rebound from a severe left ankle injury and something happened on Tuesday that likely has Jeter smiling from ear-to-ear.
Jacoby Ellsbury has proven himself to be one of the best lead-off hitters in MLB over the past five seasons and now he’s playing in the Bronx; more importantly, Ellsbury will be hitting in front of Jeter if and when the surefire Hall of Fame shortstop returns to the diamond. While Brett Gardner has served as a decent lead-off hitter over the years, Ellsbury is head and shoulders better than the Yankees’ usual No. 1.
With that being said, a 40-year-old Jeter should have plenty of RBI opportunities with a new All-Star batting in front of him. In 1,330 games at the No. 2 slot in his career, Jeter has a .313 batting average and that number should only go up in 2014. Ellsbury has always kept a high on-base percentage and his numbers at Yankee Stadium are rather impressive.
The ex-Boston Red Sox outfielder maintained a .381 on-base percentage at Yankee Stadium in 2013 — Ellsbury featured just a .350 on-base percentage at Fenway Park last season. At the end of the day; New York made a huge commitment to Ellsbury with a seven-year $153 million contract and this high-priced outfielder is going to be a heaven-sent for an aging Jeter.