We’re going to play the over/under game with Curtis Granderson, whom the Yankees acquired a year ago yesterday. I’ll look at what Curtis did in 2010 and see if it went over or under his career mark. Using the FanGraphs Dashboard we’ll go left to right.
IsoD (not on FG)
So there’s an interesting dichotomy here. Looking at his peripherals–IsoP, IsoD, BB%–we would assume that Curtis had a fantastic season. They were all above his career norms. To a certain extent, Curtis Granderson did have a successful 2010 (he racked up 3.6 fWAR). But, the triple slash looks a bit disappointing and considering the IsoP/D, we probably could’ve expected a higher wOBA and wRC+. The good peripherals represented by the walks and the power didn’t translate into the triple slash. The one culprit we can see here is BABIP. But, man cannot analyze on one BABIP alone, so let’s contextualize a bit.
Granderson’s career BABIP is .314, but in 2010 it was .277. How much differently did he hit the ball in 2010 than in the rest of his career?
The first batted ball number we look at for BABIP is always LD%. Granderson’s got a 20.6% career line drive rate, which is solid. In 2010, it wasn’t far off from that at 19.9%. That change is more or less minimal. Next, let’s go to GB and FB rates. Here is where we see some spikes for Curtis.
Despite an IFFB% of 7.2–under his carer mark of 7.8%–Granderson’s overall fly ball rate was up to 47.2%, almost 4% up from his career rate of 43.6. Here it’s worth noting that Granderson’s HR/FB%, 14.5%, was actually the second highest of his career. So it seems like fly balls weren’t much of an issue for Curtis. He was hitting them out of the infield and hitting them hard. What about grounders?
When I first saw his 33% GB mark for 2010 up against his 29.5% mark in 2009, I thought “Okay, that could be to blame.” However, that’s still below his career mark of 35.8%. Is it possible that we can just blame this one on poor BABIP luck overall?
I don’t love doing that, but there are really no wild swings apparent in the 2010 version of Granderson. He had really low lows and really high highs, but the overall picture suggests nothing crazy in his batted ball profile.
The increased strikeout rate likely comes from a 25% OOZ, which is the highest of Granderson’s career. This comes with the lowest percentage (44) of pitches seen in the zone for Curtis. It appears that pitchers are willing to make Granderson get himself out. If he can bring his OOZ back to his career norms while maintaining a similar contact profile–as well as the ability to draw walks at a 9%+ rate–he’ll have an even more successful 2011.