Earlier this season, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was pretty much crawling toward his 3,000th career base-hit. His average hovered mostly just above .250, and on the heels of a .270 season a year ago Jeter, 37, looked like a mediocre player.
Well, look again. There appears to be some life left in No. 2 yet, both at the plate and at shortstop.
Since coming off the disabled list on July 4, Jeter has looked like a different player than the one who went on it in mid-June with a quad injury. He went on the disabled list with a .260 batting average and just 20 RBI and 12 extra-base hits in 262 at-bats. A few days after coming off the DL Jeter had the magical 5-for-5 day that pushed him to 3,000 hits and beyond. He has not slowed down.
Jeter went 4-for-5 in Wednesday's 5-4 loss to Kansas City, raising his average for the season to .290. Since coming off the DL Jeter if 47-for-144 (.326) with 13 extra-base hits and 25 RBI. He has hit .382 thus far in August. Even his defensive metrics are largely better than they were a season ago.
What happened? Jeter recently said his time on the disabled list helped him fix his swing.
"Sometimes you get an opportunity to work on things when you're not playing in a game," Jeter said. "It's difficult when you're trying to make adjustments in the middle of a game.
"I had confidence that things would come back. You have to stay positive. Just because you're not doing things the way you want to do them doesn't mean you can't do them anymore. And it doesn't mean you lose confidence. You just have to work through it. Things don't always come easy."
Jeter will slow down eventually. Both he and the Yankees hope, though, that it doesn't happen for the rest of this season at least.