The timing of Granderson’s personal milestone really couldn’t have been more convenient, as today represents one year since Granderson signed up for a session at Camp K-Long, working with the Yankees’ hitting coach to retool his swing. The idea had been to help him improve his numbers against left-handed pitchers specifically, as Granderson had devolved to the point of being almost a pure platoon player this time last year, but the effects have been pronounced in all of Granderson’s at bats.
Since this date last year, .269/.362/.564 with 24 doubles, 10 triple, 43 home runs, and 121 runs batted in. If this were a single season, rather than parts of two different years, Granderson would almost certainly be headed for an MVP award, Jose Bautista and Adrian Gonzalez notwithstanding. Of course, with over 40 games left to play this year there’s still plenty of time for Granderson to keep padding those counting stat numbers, but he hardly needs to. In addition to his 31 home runs, Granderson already has 91 runs batted in, blowing his previous career best of 74 out of the water, and his .367 OBP and .579 SLG% would also be career bests. Add in his strong defense and baserunning, and there’s certainly no question as to who has been the Yankees’ MVP this season.
There was a lot of hand-wringing when the Yankees traded Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke to get Granderson before the 2010 season, and even more when Granderson struggled for most of the season while Kennedy turned out to be a good pitcher and Jackson contended for Rookie of the Year. Well Kennedy still looks like a good pitcher and Jackson still has a bright future, but the past 365 days have made it clear that the Yankees got the best player in the swap, and right now Granderson is one of the best players in all of baseball. All it took was a few days with Kevin Long to get him #cured.