The Mets have concerns about whether Curtis Granderson‘s swing will translate in to a spacious Citi Field, but they like how he’s handled playing in New York and feel he’ll be a good fit as a corner outfielder, a team insider said (Carig, Nov. 11).
According to HitTracker Online data, tweeted by @TheNotoriousT0m on Twitter, 32 of Granderson’s 41 home runs in 2011 would have also been home runs in Citi Field, while 33 of 43 would have been home runs in 2012.
The Mets have said publicly they are interested in Granderson and will soon reach out to his agent. However, despite the public statement, a Mets insider severely downplayed the likelihood of signing Granderson (Rubin).
Baseball insiders expect Granderson to receive three- and four-year offers from multiple teams (Cerrone).
Maggie Wiggin, Contributor
In a lot of ways, Granderson doesn’t fit the mold of the ideal Citi Field player. He hits a lot of flyballs and strikes out a lot, two of the weaknesses that have been prevalent among Mets who have struggled at home. There’s little chance that he would be the 40 home run hitter he has been at Yankee Stadium, but with power decreasing across baseball, it’s hard to imagine even the most elite power hitters reaching that benchmark at Citi Field.
However, as these overlays show, Granderson is likely capable of hitting the 30 home run mark as a Met, perhaps more (since these diagrams don’t account for 81 away games, many of which will be in more hitter-friendly parks than Citi). That would provide a significant power boost for an offensively-limited team and it wouldn’t cost them any prospects.
Besides home run power, Granderson brings other tools to the table that would be beneficial for any team. Despite his high strikeout rate, he draws an above-average number of walks, resulting in a serviceable OBP. Once he’s on base, he has good speed and can steal bases, making him a good fit for the Mets’ aggressive base-running philosophy. It’s also likely that this speed, plus the larger area of Citi Field, would increase his doubles and triples production, which was very good during his years as a Tiger.
In a perfect world, the Mets would have their sights set on a line-drive hitter with excellent plate discipline and power, but those players are few and far between in this market. And as his home run locations show, Granderson has the potential to be a difference-maker no matter what stadium he calls home.