Curtis Granderson – 195 pounds of thunder

Since the start of 2011, nobody in baseball has hit more homers than Curtis Granderson. His 58 bombs are first in baseball. Jose Bautista has 57. Matt Kemp has 51. Nobody else is close. Granderson has also scored the most runs during that time. It really started in September of 2010. Granderson hit nine in that last month of the 2010 season. And so he has 67 homers in his last 907 at bats, or one every 13.5 at bats. That is pretty darned impressive. He is third in baseball since the start of 2011 in RBIs too, behind only Matt Kemp and Prince Fielder.

So how have the power numbers changed for Granderson? Certainly, doing better against left-handed pitching has helped. For his career, Granderson has hit 42 of his 184 career homers against lefties. That is 22.8 percent of his career total. The last two seasons, Granderson has hit 22 of his last 58 homers against lefties, or 37.9 percent. In fact, this one improvement may be the smoking gun behind Granderson’s power numbers the last two seasons.

The thing you have to love about Granderson’s power is its consistency. Granderson has a .229 ISO for his career. But last year, that figure jumped to .290. This season, it is exactly .290 again. Granderson’s career slugging percentage is .496. Last season, it was .552. This season, it is sitting at .551.  For his career, Granderson has a home run to fly ball ratio of 14.6 percent. Last year, that jumped to 20.5 percent. This year, it has jumped again to 31.5 percent. In the last ten months that Curtis Granderson has played for the Yankees, all but two of them have featured a slugging percentage over .500 for the month. And Granderson’s OPS was .916 and this year it is .908.

The Yankees will have a lot of decisions to make in the next couple of seasons with the much ballyhooed 2014 budget limit. Curtis Granderson will be among those decisions. It will be fascinating to see how that plays out. But for right now, it is hard to imagine where the Yankees would be without Curtis Granderson. He has been a force for the Yankees since September of 2010.

About William Tasker

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at since 2003.

6 thoughts on “Curtis Granderson – 195 pounds of thunder

  1. Ya know, one could make a good argument for keeping Granderson and letting Cano walk…

    Not that it would ever happen, but if it did, I wouldn't be that disappointed. I'd rather have an aging, power hitting outfielder than an aging 2nd baseman who gets by on his speed.

    • I get so torn by Cano, Jay. He has such a lousy approach to each at bat. He gives so many of those at bats away. And then he has one of those breathtaking swings and the ball shoots the gap with what looks like no effort, and I get all confused about him again. Frustrating at times. He could be so much better it seems.

      • No arguments there. Same thing with his fielding – he'll watch a ball go by and not even seem to care; next play – he'll do a circus dive, spin, and throw that no human could ever pull off.

  2. I didn't foresee his ability to start hitting lefties, but I did think he could hit 40 homers a year. His last year in Detroit he hit 30, 20 on the road and only 10 in Comerica (this was before they moved in the fences). If all he did was match his road homer total in Yankee Stadium, he'd have 40.

  3. It's nice every once and a while to read these public love letters to Granderson. The question I had is if its possible to set up a contract with deferred payments after a contract expires would it count against the cap limit? Say could we pay granderson 7 million a year for the next 10 years but his contract only be for 5 in that we could seek a second contract with any team after those 5 years are p while still recieving payments from the yankees? I doubt that any such manipulation would fly but Id really rather not see him go if that plan is 189 mil by 2013