Pardon me for the rushed nature of this post, but it’s late at night, the pop-punk is flowing, and UConn just lost to Iowa State in the NCAA Tournament. Anyway…
To keep this quick on the Friday morning before St. Patrick’s Day, let’s take a quick look at Curtis Granderson. There is no way to overstate how awesome a season 2011 was for the Yankee center fielder. He set career highs in HR, R, RBI, BB%, wRC+ and Iso; he also tied his career high in SLG and was one point off his career high in wOBA. One of those stats has had a steady increase during the last three years: Iso. Another one of Granderson’s stats, K%, has also had a steady increase.
Let’s look at a brief history of Curtis’s power. In 2007, he peaked with a .250 Iso. Then, his power started to drop off (relatively speaking). While he kept it at a near elite level, Curtis dropped to a .213 in 2008 and a .204 in 2009. But, Curtis’s power has been coming back in a big way. He upped it to .221 in 2010 and then a ridiculous .290 in 2011. His power’s definitely been on the upswing, but I will practically guarantee that he won’t hit for that much power again in 2012. That doesn’t mean he won’t hit for good power. Part of what separates Granderson from most center fielders is the fact that he does hit for so much power. Even if his Iso drops off, I’m certain that Granderson will be among the best at his position in hitting for extra bases.
Granderson’s strikeout rates, though, are also climbing. 2008-2011 K%: 17.6; 19.9; 22.0; and 24.5. That’s a lot of strikeouts, especially for a guy who hits at the top of the lineup. Luckily, Granderson’s aforementioned power and propensity for walking (at least a 10% walk rate in the last four seasons) help offset his strikeouts. I’m not one to get overly concerned about strikeouts, but if it gets any higher, Granderson’s will start to become an issue.
There’s no way Granderson will repeat his incredible 2011. To expect anything like that would be to place unfair expectations on a player. Granderson is a fun player to watch and an easy guy to root for. 2011 may be out of reach, but there’s no reason to assume Grandy will fall off any sort of cliff. Improvement may not be likely, but there’s definitely the possibility of maintenance considering all the work Curtis has put in over the last year and a half to fix his swing. #cured will continue in 2012.
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