Trying to play shortstop like Derek Jeter is something that most people should aspire to, as Derek Jeter may be the greatest shortstop to ever play the game of baseball. Not only did he help bring the New York Yankees back to World Championship status in the late nineties and then again in the 2000's, he also recorded more hits then any Yankee baseball player in history. He makes spectacular plays regularly in the field, is the team leader and holds himself with class, even secretly loved by die-hard Red Sox fans, who hate just about everything Yankee. So to play shortstop like Derek Jeter means you are doing a lot right in the position. A few of the tips below may help you do that.
Derek Jeter is always set before the pitcher pitches the ball, allowing him to react to just about any ball that is hit his way. To do this, make sure your feet are spread a little more then shoulder width apart, your toes are turned out slightly to make your lateral movement easier, and you are balanced on the balls of your feet. This will make you almost feel like you are leaning forward, but this is integral for being able to spring into action to pick up one of those sharply hit grounders up the middle or between third and short.
The difference between the set and ready position are barely noticeable, but these small adjustments can allow you to make Derek Jeter-like plays. When the pitcher pitches the ball, you will need your glove out in front of you and your throwing hand inside of it. Your eyes should never leave the strike zone so you can see exactly where the contact of the bat and ball are made and if it is being hit in your vicinity. The shortstop often receives the majority of the balls hit on the infield, meaning you will have to be ready more then anyone else.
Derek Jeter highlights include him charging slowly hit ground balls and slinging them to first to beat a runner. This is something you should practice as well, charging those slowly hit ground balls as soon as contact is made and you know it is coming to you. The tricky part here is determining whether you should use your glove or your free throwing hand to pick up the ball, as this is all determined by the speed at which the ball is hit and the spin on the ball itself. Get great at doing this and you may remind people of Derek Jeter when you sling the ball to first, beating a few speedy batters to record the out.
Some of the best Derek Jeter highlights in the field have consisted of him jumping high into the air to snag a sharply hit line drive that would be a base hit over the head of most other short stops in the world. However, Derek Jeter has ups unlike any ball player out there, meaning you will need to as well if you want people to think of him when they see you play. This will make you better at jumping for grounders hit in your vicinity in general, as well as line drives.