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Twitter is an amazing tool for fans and bloggers, in that it provides access to people with expertise that many fans would not have had the ability to speak with in the past. Last night, I was able to learn something about Curtis Granderson’s stance from one such interaction. After Granderson hit his home run, senior scout Steve Carter of Project Prospect stated that he loved Granderson’s new handset. When I asked for clarification, he graciously sent me the following explanation:
Granderson is holding his hands further away from his body, and much more out over the plate. His struggles in the past against LHP was a result of him flying open trying to protect inside, which left the outer half wide open. Now that his arms are out away from his body he can win the race on the inner half and still cover and/or fight off pitches away. This has also helped him be more direct and quicker with his hands, which will help regardless of pitching. So if he wants to hook the ball out over that nice little porch in Right at Yankee Stadium, he won’t have to fly open to do so, he’ll just have to be quick with his hands. Should see him increase in all areas offensively with this new handset. Wouldn’t shock me if he hit .265-.270 with 35 home runs.
It should be interesting to keep an eye on this mechanical change going forward. As I understand it, the new handset should give him more plate coverage while allowing him to retain the ability to pull inside pitches. This should be particularly helpful against left-handers, against whom he was pull happy last season. Greater plate coverage should mean that fewer of those pulled balls will turn into pop-ups, and that he can go the other way with an outside pitch if he so chooses. Hopefully, he can leverage this change into improved performance against left handers while continuing to beat up on righties.
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