When he’s asked about his home run surge, Curtis Granderson keeps coming back to the same old response: He’s technically done this before. With 25 home runs at the break, Granderson has not exceeded anything he’s done in the past.
“They’ve just happened quicker,” he said. “That’s it.”
That won’t be true for much longer. Granderson is five away from his career high, and this is already his second-highest single-season total. He’s clearly a different sort of hitter this season, and he may be having the same sort of breakout season that Robinson Cano had a year ago. Granderson seems to be taking the final step from good to great.
“There’s certain aspects I think that are (better this season),” he said. “But at the same time, it’s not like there are certain things that were terribly bad (before). I think there’s things I have improved on, I think there’s still things I need to improve on, I think there are things that I was better at before that I’ve kind of regained, and there’s things that I’ve lost. So it’s a mix. I’d say I’m probably still neutral.”
Granderson is disappointed in his increased strikeout total, and the fact some teams have been using a shift tells him he’s not using the whole field as well as he used to. But the numbers speak for themselves, and they suggest an MVP candidate. If you like new numbers, FanGraphs says Granderson’s WAR is the second highest in the American League. If you’re old school, he’s only 11 RBI from his total for 2007, the year he finished 10th in MVP voting.
“I kind of value MVP as a mix between who the best player is and who’s helping their team out the most,” Granderson said. “And I think there are a lot of other players who are well beyond where I’m at at this point.”
Associated Press photo