One of the frequent cautions we hear when the Yankees bring in a left handed hitter is brought to the Yankees is that he will get pull happy playing in Yankee Stadium. I can’t recall if this was exactly the case with Curtis Granderson, but I’m sure at least a few people brought it up. Let’s see what we can dig up in the Spray Charts.
Here’s Curtis’s spray chart from 2009. Obviously, this has a bigger sample because it encompasses a full season without time surrendered to the disabled list.
There, we see a fair amount of hits to left and center field, but most of the hits seem to be concentrated to the right side of the field. Via FanGraphs, let’s look at his splits in terms of hit direction. In 2009, Granderson had a total of 157 hits. 19 went to left (12.1%), 39 to center (24.84), and 99 to right (63.06). We can see that a pretty wide majority of of Granderson’s hits landed in right in 2009. Let’s check out 2010.
Just at first glance, the hits look a little more evenly spread. And, lately, we’ve been seeing Granderson drive the ball to the opposite field more, mostly after his work with Kevin Long. Thus far, Curtis has 82 his on the season. Nine to left (10.98%), 28 to center (34.15), and 51 to right field (32.48). So, it would appear that Granderson has not been pull happy at all and has adjusted his game to go back up the middle and the other way a little more.
How has this happened? Let’s look at the pitches Curtis has swung at to determine this. 2009 will be first with 2010 to follow.
The latter chart is less cluttered because of a shorter time frame/smaller sample size, but we can see that it appears Curtis is seeing fewer pitches on the inner part of the plate. As good hitters do, Granderson is taking what’s given to him and hitting the ball to left and center.
So, no, Curtis Granderson has not gotten pull happy since joining the Yankees. Instead, he’s adjusted his approach based on the pitches he’s seen–and his struggles in the middle of the season–to become a more “widespread,” so to speak, hitter.
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