Signs of aging were prevalent last season for Derek Jeter, as his first half left much to be desired.

Jeter hit .270/.330/.353 prior to the All Star break and was batting .257 with just two home runs on the day he collected his historic 3,000th hit.

He had a remarkable second half, however, hitting .327/.383/.428. He finished up the year with a respectable .297/.355/.388 line with six home runs and 61 RBI.

Jeter’s second half resurgence shows that he still has a little something left in the tank. He is just three seasons removed from a third-place finish in the American League MVP voting, when he hit .334/.406/.465 with 18 home runs, 66 RBI and 30 stolen bases.

Although he’s lost a step or two defensively, and despite what advanced statistics tell us, Jeter is still one of the better defending shortstops in the league. Sure, he may not get to as many balls as he used to, but he’s relatively sure-handed on the balls he is able to reach.

I expect another good season from Jeter this year.

He will be hungry for a championship this season, possibly more so than ever before. He knows he may have only one more season with teammate Mariano Rivera, and after seeing Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada retire in consecutive seasons, he knows that the clock’s ticking.

Jeter will retain his No. 2 spot in the lineup in 2012, at least for one more season, and will help to set up the bigger bats in the lineup. He is still capable of scoring 90 to 100 runs, as well as collecting close to 200 hits.

A perennial .300 hitter every season, I think Jeter has one more left. He should hover around a line of .300/.360/.390 with 10 home runs and 60 RBI.

Even if Jeter produces the next two seasons, expect a retirement announcement from the Yankee Captain following the 2013 campaign. He’s had a long, successful career, and deserves a happy retirement.

Should he retire after 2013, he’ll be retiring just as his teammates, Pettitte and Posada, did—on top.

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