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.