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It seems odd seeing the Yankees play without their “Captain”. The lynchpin of the Yankees offensive and admirable clubhouse leader is gone after 20 solid years of production. One can almost feel the void Derek Jeter left upon retirement. The current team appears to miss a spark or certain level of intensity, but perhaps it just feels that way. When it comes to actual impact, the Yankees’ may not miss Jeter as much as one might think. The nostalgia of “The Final Season” and each of the many honors rightfully bestowed on upon Jeter during his last go around the league may have obscured the definitive level of influence he had on the Yankees’ game in reality.
After a rash of injuries in the 2013 season and that scary broken ankle during the playoffs, it’s commendable that Jeter was even productive into his age 40 season and 20th year in MLB. Unfortunately, the Derek we came so used to seeing had declined severely by his final season. Age, along with the wear and tear of playing such a demanding sport for so many years, seemed to have finally caught up with “The Captain”.
Derek’s batting average slipped to a career low at just a tick above .250. Likewise, on base percentage also became an area of concern; slightly above .300 was simply put, un-Jeter like. On the defensive side of things, Jeter’s game also had become a liability. It was highly publicized that his range at shortstop had been below average for quite some time. Some critics even began to suggest he should be switched to 3rd base or left field. Could you imagine Derek Jeter, Yankee Great, relegated to left-field? A travesty indeed.
In 2015, here comes Didi Gregorius. Along with all the hype and anticipation of replacing such a respected and beloved veteran comes the responsibility and unenviable proposition of trying to fill his shoes, an impossible request of any young talent. No one is expecting Gregorius to equal the level of play from Jeter’s prime, but matching and likely even improving upon Derek’s most recent levels of production is quite attainable.
Didi’s career marks, even after relatively few games, already come out ahead of Jeter’s twilight years playing at the tail end of his career. Furthermore, the defense of Gregorius is something the Yankees haven’t had in more than a few seasons. Where Derek was below average, Didi excels; Gregorius is a young player, just entering the prime of his career. Let us not forget this is only his third year in the league with substantial playing time. At 25 years of age, Gregorius is the youngest starting position player by a good 6-7 years for the Yankees.
At the end of the day the biggest attribute Derek Jeter brought to the table was leadership, the ability to light the way to victory through his own words and actions. No man can replace the level of respect and dignity gained through 20 years of superb sportsmanship and intense dedication overnight. It’s going to take years for anyone to truly begin filling the immense vacuity left by the greatest Yankee of the modern era, Derek Jeter.

Landin Murphy cover the New York Yankees for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @Landinfitness

Landin MurphyAnalysisBaseballMLBNews and Updates#MLB,Derek Jeter,New York YankeesIt seems odd seeing the Yankees play without their “Captain”. The lynchpin of the Yankees offensive and admirable clubhouse leader is gone after 20 solid years of production. One can almost feel the void Derek Jeter left upon retirement. The current team appears to miss a spark or certain...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?