OF Curtis Granderson should start spelling his name Kurtis so it has a “K” in it. Doing so would greater reflect the type of hitter he’s become.
In 2007, Granderson became the seventh member of the 20-20-20 club while batting .308 for the Detroit Tigers. Those days are long gone. After a trade to the New York Yankees before the 2010 season, that short porch in right field was too tempting for him to continue hitting line drives. Instead, he adopted more of an all-or-nothing approach that resulted in a home run or a strikeout.
This past offseason, the New York Mets signed him to a four-year, $60 million contract. So far, he’s given them all the strikeouts but none of the long balls. He struck out three more times in Monday’s 2-0 win against the St. Louis Cardinals, giving him a grand total of 23 Ks just two weeks into the season.
Mets fans are beginning to boo Granderson mercilessly. However, his struggles come as no surprise to Yankees fans who watched him finish fourth among big league hitters in strikeouts in 2011 with 169 (behind Mark Reynolds, Austin Jackson and Adam Dunn) and second in 2012 with 195 (trailing only Dunn). The silver lining, though, is that he hit 84 home runs with 225 RBIs during those two seasons.
Still, the Mets should have seen this coming. By the end of his tenure in pinstripes, Granderson was a .230 hitter who could get 40 homers and 100 RBIs because of Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right. Moving to Citi Field, however, half of those home runs are now flyouts that don’t even reach the warning track.
Unless he changes his entire approach at the plate, Granderson is going to finish the season batting well under the Mendoza Line without the power numbers which earned him that big contract.
A strikeout is a strikeout in any park. Home runs are not the same. Yes, Granderson is striking out at a ridiculous rate, but that’s just the hitter he is. The only difference between this year and last is that he’s not reaching the stands when he does put the ball in play because of the titanic dimensions of his new home park.
Maybe when he’s a free agent again in four years, he’ll sign with the Cincinnati Reds.