This must be what the Yankees had in mind back in the winter of 2009 when they traded three legitimate young players — their center fielder of the future, a young left-handed reliever and a former first-round pick — for Curtis Granderson.
The Yankees knew Granderson would strike out a bunch, and they knew he had a tendency to struggle against lefties, but they also knew he could provide a good glove and a powerful bat.
They saw the glove last year. Now they’re seeing the bat.
Through 16 games, Granderson is hitting .273/.322/.691. He’s now homered in three straight games and left-handers have not been a problem. It’s hard to make too much out of 16 games, but Granderson’s success dates back to last season when he hit .261/.356/.564 after making a mid-August mechanical adjustment.
“We always knew he had a lot of power,” Joe Girardi said. “I think what you’re seeing is he’s making more consistent contact and hitting the ball harder on a consistent basis. It’s been a fairly lengthy period, so that’s a good thing. It bodes well for us.”
Here’s the thing: Sixteen games into last season Granderson was hitting .268/.349/.482. The power numbers weren’t quite the same as today, but he was clearly off to a pretty strong start. By August — when he made those mechanical changes — his slash line was down to .239/.306/.415.
The trick is — as always — to keep going.
Associated Press photo