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Grading the Yankees: Curtis Granderson


All or nothing. That pretty much describes Curtis Granderson at the plate in 2012. While he did blast 43 home runs, he only had 138 hits. Think about that; almost 1/3 of his hits were home runs. I’m not one of those people who subscribe to the “too many home runs” theory, but when you hit that many homers and your batting average is .232 it’s a little disconcerting.

Read on to see what grade Grandy received for 2012. Also, feel free to check out players already graded in the Grading the Yankees (GtY) series.

Hitting all those home runs is nice, no doubt, but striking out 195 times in 596 plate appearances will almost certainly rub people the wrong way. If you have 43 home runs it’s really tough to register an OPS of .811. Now, the aforementioned low batting average isn’t a be-all, end-all, but Grandy’s .319 OBP isn’t winning him any popularity contests. Though, in his defense, he did suffer from a low BABIP this year — .260 compared to a lifetime .305.

I could’ve done without that…(Image: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE)

Going by his career average, his BA was down 30 points and his OBP was down 22 points while his SLG was right on the nose (.492). No point there, just thought that was kind of weird.

Granderson boasted the second worst K% (28.5) but also the second best BB% (11) among qualified CF. And his 2.6 WAR (FanGraphs) is the fifth worst at his position.

One major gripe I have with Curtis is that he didn’t really utilize his speed this season. He had only 10 stolen bases (3 CS) in 2012 (last year he had 25 in 35 attempts). Then again, if you’re rarely on base it’s hard to steal.

His lefty/righty splits leave a little to be desired, and his home/away splits show he’s trying to use Yankee Stadium’s short porch too often.

Defense is where he really gets hurt. UZR absolutely hates Granderson’s face. It has him at -17.8, which is literally worse than awful and the worst among qualified center fielders in MLB. As I mentioned in the Nick Swisher GtY, UZR is stupid and not a great indicator of a player’s talent. However, the ol’ eye test, for me at least, does show Grandy botching a lot of plays. He’ll make some spectacular grabs but also get an awful jump on many other balls.

Final Grade:

All things considered I’ll give the Grandy Man a C- for 2012. He didn’t hit for average and struck out like no other, but he was durable (played 160 games), played an OK center and took advantage of Yankee Stadium’s dimensions. He was garbage in the playoffs, but, as with Swish Dog, I omitted postseason stats while grading.



As you know, the Yankees picked up Granderson’s option for 2013 ($15 million), which is a smart move. He’s a solid player that can take advantage of the short porch in right. However, if Gardner is 100% in the spring I hope they play him in center. I think he has more speed and can play the position better than Granderson. Also, if the right trade is out there I wouldn’t be opposed to dealing Curtis. I love him and don’t think they should be looking to make a move, per se, but if a team comes calling they should listen.