Is Curtis Granderson a Top 20 Outfielder?

December 16, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

I live in Connecticut. There are Yankee fans around every corner. When I am back in Michigan for family functions, the most knowledgeable sports fan around is my cousin, Rob. Rob is a Yankee fan.

Needless to say, I hear plenty about the Yankees. So, when the Tigers dealt Curtis Granderson to the Yankees last week, I had more than a few conversations about Curtis.

My cousin commented via email that he was excited about the Yankees getting one of the 20 best outfielders in the game. Twenty seems like a lot, but there are three starting outfielders for each big league team, and some usually DH. That should give us about 100 big league-caliber outfielders.

Is Granderson for sure in the top 20? Let’s take a look.


Where Granderson ranked amongst outfielders in 2009:

Hits: 22nd behind Chris Coghlan and Scott Podsednik

Runs: 16th behind Jacoby Ellsbury and Andre Ethier

Doubles: 56th behind Rajai Davis and David Murphy

Triples: Eighth behind Dexter Fowler and Michael Bourn

Home Runs: Seventh behind Andre Ethier and Nelson Cruz

Stolen Bases: 20th behind Alexis Rios and Brett Gardner

Batting Average: 69th behind Gary Matthews and Felix Pie

OBP: 60th behind Mitch Maier and Jeremy Hermida

SLG: 31st behind Matt Diaz and Cody Ross

Extra Base Hits: 17th behind Cody Ross and Shin-Soo Choo


Okay, so that’s last season. Many out there would consider this too small of a sample. So let’s look at the last three seasons (2007-09):

AVG: 29th

HR: Ninth

2B: 29th

3B: First

SB: 18th

OBP: 28th

SLG: 12th

Hits: 10th

Runs: First

Extra Base Hits: Second


Okay, so that looks a lot better, doesn’t it? It really helps put Granderson’s disappointing 2009 season in context. This only looks at offense, though. Defense is notoriously difficult to judge, so the amount of data I have is limited.

From 2006-2008, Granderson was the eighth best center fielder in baseball according to John Dewan’s +/- ratings for players in the field. In many ways, Granderson took a step back defensively in 2009. His range factor numbers were down. He was still better than league average, but he still regressed a bit last season.

So, is Curtis Granderson a top 20 big league outfielder? I’m going to hold my tongue. What do you think?

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