The New York Mets made somewhat of a splash this offseason when they inked former New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract, with the hopes that he could be an answer in what was a depleted outfield. I liked the move; it showed that the Mets very heading in the right direction, since in years prior they refused to spend any sort of money on free agents.
Granderson was brought in to be a left-handed power threat who would bat behind David Wright and a veteran presence in the clubhouse to a very young team. I really never expected Granderson to put up the numbers he did with the Yankees when he hit over 40 home runs in back-to-back seasons. I also never expect him to perform the way he has performed over the course of this season.
I was hoping he would come in, bat around the .240-.250 range and use Citi Field to his advantage. I know it is far from a hitter’s park, but I figured he can use the gaps to hit more doubles since the power numbers were just not going to be anywhere close to the ones he had with the Yankees. He has disappointed thus far in his first year with the Mets. On the season he is batting .217 with 16 home runs, 49 RBIs and has struck out 118 times.
It didn’t help that he got off to one of the worst starts that anyone could get off to. Over the month of April he batted .145 and it was clear he was struggling at the plate. I knew Granderson was a very streaky hitter over the course of his career; when he is hot he looks like one of the top hitters in the game, but when he is not he is ice cold and you don’t get anything out of him for weeks.
He started to find himself when he was moved back into a more familiar role in the lineup as the leadoff hitter. For the first month or so he was batting fourth behind Wright and it was clear that wasn’t going to work. When he was moved to the top of the order it gave him a spark; he started to get into a groove and looked like he was going to be alright.
Once the All-Star break came around he started to cool down, but since the All-Star break he has been silent at the plate. Over the second half of the season he has hit just .171 with two home runs and six RBIs. Those numbers are just not going to cut it from a guy who is supposed to be relied on so heavily. Just like over the month of April when he was slumping, the month of August has been just as bad for him.
Will he find himself between now and the end of the season is a question that remains to be answered. I think he will. As I said before, his track record has shown that when he goes cold he is really bad. That might be the case here, but it just seems like forever since Granderson did anything productive for the Mets. He is a good player, but people can’t look at him as a superstar.
Granderson is a very good piece on a team that has other good pieces around him. What’s what he was with the Detroit Tigers and the Yankees, as those teams had bigger pieces around him which gave Granderson the chance to flourish. With the Mets’ lacking talent, Granderson is looked at as one of the top guys and his production has just not lived up to it.
At the end of the day, Granderson needs to be a big part of this team. If it’s not going to be this season then they need him to contribute in the future, because they have too much invested in this guy for him to be batting .217. The Mets will look to get better in the offseason which will certainly benefit Granderson, but he needs to live up to expectations as well.