Curtis Granderson and the opposite field

Yankees pursuing Taiwanese shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin
Injury Updates: Eduardo Nunez & Austin Romine

Before plating five runs in the third and Nick Swisher‘s go-ahead sacrifice fly in the sixth, Curtis Granderson set the Yankees up for a quick strike last night by doubling with one out in the first inning. There’s nothing unusual about that on the surface, but this double was different that most of Granderson’s doubles. It was an opposite field double, landing perfectly in left-center between the ball-hawking Mike Trout-Peter Bourjos combination.

Granderson isn’t exactly an all-fields type of hitter. He pulls the ball for big-time power and is tremendously successful doing so. One opposite field double doesn’t mean much of anything, but take a quick look at his spray chart for the six-game West Coast road trip (via Texas Leaguers)…

Of his seven hits in the six games, four were to the opposite field and two were yanked to right for homers. The one hit that hugged the left field line was a total bloop, but the other three hits to left were solid line drives. All three came on pitches on the outer third of the plate from right-handers (Tyson Ross and Ervin Santana), so Granderson just flipped them to the opposite field. It’s pretty neat. A nice piece of hitting, as the pundits say.

The four opposite field hits on the road trip give Curtis nine such hits this season, one fewer than he had all of last year. His .378 wOBA to left is a top-20 mark among all left-handed hitters and far better than his .304 career mark. We haven’t heard anything about a conscious effort on Granderson’s part to hit more to the opposite field and it could all just be a fluke this early in the season, but it’s definitely something worth keeping an eye on. Anything that diversifies his offensive impact without taking away from that huge power is a major plus.

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Yankees pursuing Taiwanese shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin
Injury Updates: Eduardo Nunez & Austin Romine
  • LiterallyFigurative

    Hopefully it’s another step in the growth of Granderson as he nears free agency.

    His pull-heavy tendencies have concerned me, even during his MVP-caliber year last season. Now, 9 hits doesn’t mean he’s become Ichiro, but I liked the approach and think it can have long-range benefits for Curtis and the team. As shown on the road trip, he can still drive the ball out of the yard when the pitch presents it self, but taking the outer edge pitches the other way cuts down on rolling over, helps his BA, and removes the shifts.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      helps his BA, and removes the shifts

      Think he can work with Teix?

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        i think we are seeing some signs of this already. its slow. rome wasn’t built in a day, you know!!

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    hopefully all of these guys are starting to see results of hard work…imagine a world where guys like Grandy and Tex start to use the entire field….it will be marvelous

    • PBFog

      Yea, they’ve probably only just begun to work hard…

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        i think the hard work started two seasons ago for Grandy and this off season for Tex and we are now starting to see the fruit of the labor.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    He is becoming a better hitter by hitting the ball where it’s pitched. This should help his OBP and BA. This also defeats the shift that some teams are placing on him. To summarize, he is doing what Mark Texeira said he was going to do.

  • Kosmo

    Maybe he´s going opposite field more or maybe it´s just a fluke. It hasn´t raised his batting average, he´s still a .260 hitter in my book, or reduced his K totals which at this point projects to be for the season in 175-180 range. I don´t see any significant change.

    • jjyank

      You could be right, and you know what? I’m totally cool with that. I’ll take .260 and 30-40 homers out of my center fielder every single day of the week.

      If it’s not a fluke, then Granderson will become one of the best hitters in the league, and that would be beyond amazing. But if not, he’s still pretty awesome. I don’t even look at BA anymore, so .260 means nothing to me. 350-365 OBP and huge power? Yes please.

      • Kosmo

        What does he have 16 HR and 29 RBI ? Garbage production. 12 solo HR. Granderson is not a high leverage player. Tex has more RBI than Granderson and he stunk for most of the season.

      • Kosmo

        I guess hitting with 2outs,RISP isn´t your bag ?

  • OldYanksFan

    With the event of Hit Charts, which I assume also track the Pitcher Handedness, type of pitch, game situation, etc., I would think we will see more and more shifts and defensive positioning based on a player’s hitting history.

    Joe Maddon isn’t the radical one. It would be radical to NOT consider a hitter’s history when positioning the defense.

    This makes all-field hitters more valuable and all-field hitting more important.

  • Smallz

    Not one Linsanity joke? Alright, i’ll take it. LINSANITY PART TWO: Taking the captains job

    • Smallz

      wrong post, EPIC FAIL