Debuting in 1996, Nomar only played a subpar 24 games. But in 1997 he burst onto the scene to win Rookie of the Year by leading in hits, triples and at bats, while only playing in 153 games. This is the only season I did not adjust to 162 games. When 1998 rolled around Nomar was ready to go for the MVP. In 143 games, Nomar was able to get 195 hits, 37 doubles, 8 triples, 35 home runs and 122 RBI. Now if we project the 162 he would have won MVP.
- Nomar 143 .323/111/195/37/8/35/122/12/.362
- Nomar 162 .323/126/221/42/9/40/138/15/.362
1999 was the first of back to back batting titles. While his home runs decreased, his doubles increased as did his batting average, hits and on base percentage. But once again, he fell short of the MVP title due to his game total. He played a Red Sox career low 135 games, not counting injury seasons. His projected 162 was above impressive.
- Nomar 135 .357/103/190/42/4/27/104/14/.418
- Nomar 162 .357/126/232/51/5/33/127/17/.418
The second year of his back to back batting titles saw another decrease in home runs, but another increase in almost every other category. He played in 140 games that season, five more than the previous season, but again put up unreal numbers.
- Nomar 140 .372/104/197/51/3/21/96/5/.434
- Nomar 162 .372/128/242/63/5/26/118/10/.434
2001 was a lost season for Nomar as he dealt with an Achilles injury. But he was back with a vengeance in 2002. Playing in 156 games, he didn't quite have that MVP batting average or on base percentage, but he made up for it with bringing the power back. Leading the league in doubles with 56, he also had three more home runs that he did in 2000. Projected 162 isn't as significant as previous years, but it still make a difference.
- Nomar 156 .310/101/197/56/5/24/120/5/.352
- Nomar 162 .310/109/213/60/5/26/129/7/.352
In his final full season with the Red Sox, Nomar dipped a bit but played 156 games for the second year in a row. Both his batting average and doubles went down, but his home runs, triples and stolen bases went back up.
- Nomar 156 .301/120/198/37/13/28/105/19/.345
- Nomar 162 .301/125/206/39/14/30/110/21/.345
- Nomar 162 Career .305/123/221/50/8/31/120/15/.376
Now let's see what Nomar's career would have looked like if he had played as long as Jeter, while compared to Jeter.
- Jeter Career .310/1923/3465/544/66/260/1311/358/.377
- Nomar Career .305/1840/3308/748/122/460/1800/230/.376
So with all these projections, they are just that, projections. Nomar never became the legend he could have been, but for me as a fan and as my hero, he didn't need to.