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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 97: Curtis Granderson’s New Approach

Sat, Mar 19, 2011

Big Board, Player Projections

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Curtis Granderson cemented his fantasy stud status with dynamic 2007 and 2008 seasons for the Detroit Tigers:

  • 2007: 122 runs, 23 HRs, 74 RBI, 26 steals, .302 average
  • 2008: 112 runs, 22 HRs, 66 RBI, 12 steals, .280 average

Granderson’s game changed in 2009, however. The center fielder starting hitting more fly balls, resulting in more power, but a much less appealing average:

  • 2009: 91 runs, 30 HRs, 71 RBI, 20 steals, .249 average
  • 2010: 76 runs, 24 HRs, 67 RBI, 12 steals, .247 average (136 games)

Batted Ball Rates:

  • 2004-2008: .336 BABIP, 40.9 FB rate, 12.0 HR/FB rate
  • 2009: .275 BABIP, 49.3 FB rate, 12.6 HR/FB rate
  • 2010: .277 BABIP, 47.2 FB rate, 14.5 HR/FB rate

His spike in HR/FB rate likely had something to do with his move from Comerica Park to Yankee Stadium, but his poor BABIP and fly-ball rates came the year before.

A return to his 2008 ways would send his value through the roof, but that appears highly unlikely. Hitting coach Kevin Long tweaked Granderson’s mechanics last August, and it showed in the score sheet. He hit 14 HRs with 34 RBI in the last 48 games last season. Granderson did this by raising his fly-ball rate to an even higher level, resulting in even lower BABIPs:

  • August 2010: 50.8 FB rate, .250 BABIP
  • Sept./Oct. 2010: 51.4 FB rate, .266 BABIP

Granderson has carried his new-found power stroke into the spring, hitting .378 with three HRs through 34 at-bats.

The 30-year-old is projected to bat second between Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira or Robinson Cano this season, opposed to the seven and eight hole, where he spend most of his time last season. This can only be a good thing, but it’s unlikely to aid his batting average—the only thing holding him back from elite status. His elite base stealing efficiency (80.1 percent career) should yield double-digit steals for the fifth consecutive season.

Draft him as the 26th outfielder, No. 97 overall.

  PA R HR RBI SB AVG
2010 stats 528 76 24 67 12 .247
3-year average 622 93 25 68 15 .259
2011 FBI Forecast 615 95 32 70 15 .256

 

Image courtesy of: Matt Philpott

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