Last season was a rough one for Derek Jeter at the plate. He hit just .270, by far the lowest average he’s had over a full season.
So Jeter, who normally doesn’t spend a lot of time working on his swing, plans to work extensively with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long this winter.
The two had begun to implement some changes late in the year that showed some positive results. Essentially, as a way to shorten a too-long swing, Long wants to continue to get Jeter to better control the direction and the length of his stride.
“This is the first time he has done something like this in the offseason,” Long said by phone. “And why should he have done anything before. He has had such a prolific career and been so good. He didn’t feel the need to go out and do stuff. But now we are thinking let’s get on an offseason program and be where we need to be when spring training opens. The only reason to do this is because he did have a down year.”
Long has had a lot of success doing this with ball players. Most notably with Robinson Cano, but also with Nick Swisher as well. Swisher worked with Long extensively last offseason and it lead him to reach career highs in batting average and OPS at .288 and .870 respectively.
Jeter didn’t start off poorly in 2010. He hit .300 until June 6, but he entered a prolonged slump in the middle of the season that caused his average to drop to .260. He worked with Long a bit at the end of the season and he got hot immediately afterward hitting .342 with an .829 OPS over the final 19 games of the season.
That was just a quick fix though. The idea is that if he works extensively with Long this offseason he can bounce back from his worst offensive season ever.