Commentary

The "new" Curtis Granderson

A small adjustment has made the Yankees' center fielder one of baseball's best

Updated: June 2, 2011, 3:46 PM ET
By Jay Jaffe | Baseball Prospectus
Curtis GrandersonMike Stobe/Getty ImagesCurtis Granderson has been the best player on a team of superstars this season.

On Tuesday night in Oakland, New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson did something he hadn't done since Aug. 15, 2008: collect three hits in a game off a single left-handed pitcher. Not just any lefty, either; his three hits came against A's starter Brett Anderson, one of the league's top southpaws. Against lefties this year, Granderson's line is .333 AVG/.352 OBP/.773 SLG plus nine homers in 73 plate appearances , a remarkable turnaround for a player who less than a year ago looked like platoon material. Small sample sizes be damned, his home runs and slugging percentage against lefties are the best for any American Leaguer from either side of the plate this year.

Granderson has emerged as the most potent hitter in the game's most potent lineup; his .612 slugging percentage ranks third in the AL behind only Jose Bautista and Matt Joyce, and his 17 homers are second only to Bautista. Like the Toronto slugger, whose September 2009 home run spike foreshadowed his 54-homer 2010 campaign, Granderson is the product of a dramatic late-season turnaround that has paid even bigger dividends the following year.


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