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Entries in Curtis Granderson (16)

Wednesday
Jul062011

Baseball-All-Starlytics: Curtis Granderson: What a difference a year makes

"The Grandy Man can."

Yes, we're all sick of hearing that during Yankee radio casts but the truth is, Curtis Granderson can rake.

Were it not for the beast numbers of Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista, not to mention Asdrubal Cabrera's season, we would be hearing chants of "MVP!, MVP!" at the Stadium

We have written in these pages in praise of Yankee batting coach Kevin Long whose work with Granderson has produced remarkable results. But you really need to see the numbers to appreciate the contrast.

What a difference a year makes

Let's compare Curtis Granderson's 2010 through July 5 to Grandy's 2011 season through July 5.

Granderson to July 5, 2010

Granderson's hot spots look like Caribbean islandsOn the morning of July 6, 2010, Curtis Granderson was hitting .228 with seven homers and 23 RBI. He was slugging .411. He was hitting .192 against lefties with one homer and 22 total bases and 23 strikeouts (more strikeouts than total bases can't be good).

Granderson to July 5, 2011

His Heat Map looks like a view of New England

First look at the difference in the map. He was getting destroyed at this point last year on the outer portion of the plate. High and away (in the strike zone) and low and away were ways of getting him out. That's no longer the case.

Now, look at the difference in his numbers: On the morning of July 6, 2011, Curtis Granderson is hitting .278 (I'm no math genius but I think that's 50 points higher) with 25 homers and 62 RBI. He is slugging .597. He is hitting .260 against lefties with nine homers and 63 total bases and 31 strikeouts (over twice as many total bases as whiffs is very good).

A history making season in the making?

The last Yankee outfielder to hit over 40 homers was Reggie Jackson in 1980 when he hit 41. In fact, and I found this surprising, there really have been relatively few Yankee outfielders with over 40 homers in a season. Babe Ruth did it 10 times, Mickey Mantle four times, Reggie, Roger Maris and Joe DiMaggio did it once each.There have been 26 Yankees, who've played at any position, who have hit over 40 homers and driven in 100+ runs.

Right now, Granderson is en route to being the next, he could be number 27 on this list exhibiting the power of the '27 Yankees.

Saturday
May142011

Granderson's Home Run Surge

About one quarter of the way through the season Curtis Granderson (NYA) is halfway to his 2010 total of 24 home runs.  Granderson owns decent power, averaging about 25 dingers a season during the previous three years.  He drives the ball in a very compact location in the strike zone:

Curtis Granderson, pitch frequency of home runs, 2008-2010.The interesting thing about this chart comes from the fact that Curtis pulls most of his home runs.  He's able to reach balls on the outer half of the plate, and pull them for homers.  Pitchers tried to go further away on Curtis, often ending up outside the zone:

Curtis Granderson, pitch frequency, 2008-2010.For some reason, they've stopped going outside on Granderson in 2011.

Curtis Granderson, pitch frequency, 2011.They are basically throwing the ball where he likes to hit home runs.

Curtis Granderson, pitch frequency on home runs, 2011.One other thing changed.  In the period from 2008-2010, Curtis hit 57.9% of his home runs on fastballs.  That's not surprising, as 53.9% of the pitches he saw were fastballs.  In 2011, however, he's really locked in on the speed pitch.  Pitchers have cut their fastballs to Granderson to 43.8%, but Curtis hit 10 of his twelve homers on fastballs.  So it looks like a combination of poor pitch location on the part of the hurlers and good fastball recognition by Granderson led to the surge in homers.

Sunday
May012011

April's Outside Power Hitters

April's Top 15 Power Hitters on Outside Pitches
  • Jose Bautista (TOR) continues to crush pitches regardless of where they are in the zone. His 5 HRs on outside pitches leads all major league hitters. Curtis Granderson (NYY), Mark Teixeira (NYY), and Ryan Howard (PHI) are tied for second with 4 HRs.
  • Peter Bourjos (LAA) leads the league with 4 triples on outside pitches.
  • Carlos Quentin (CWS) leads all hitters with 6 doubles on outside pitches.
  • Carlos Santana (CLE) lead the majors last year with a .643 SLG on outside pitches. He's currently ranked 42nd with a .476 SLG. Albert Pujols, who was ranked 2nd last year with a .601 SLG, currently holds a .167 SLG on outside pitches, putting him in 235th place.