Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:11 am
 


By Matt Snyder


So here we are, the final entry in our series. For those who have enjoyed the series and taken part in the discussion, we thank you. For those who hate fun, remember to kick and scream about how it's absurd to "compare" the two when someone asks you if you would rather eat Mexican or Chinese food.

Anyway, we'll close the series with a meeting between MLB's two biggest rivals of the past decade. Maybe Rangers-Angels or something else supplants the Yankees-Red Sox intensity/hatred moving forward, but what we've seen in the recent past isn't paralleled.

So we'll check out the respective left-handed center fielders who each placed in the top four of AL MVP voting last season. Yes, it's Curtis Granderson vs. Jacoby Ellsbury.

The case for Granderson

Would You Rather Have
We've known Granderson could play for a while. Back in 2007, he had an insane stat-filling season, with 122 runs, 38 doubles, 23 triples, 23 homers and 26 stolen bases while hitting .302 with a .913 OPS. In 2009, however, his average dipped all the way down to .249 and, despite hitting 30 home runs, his inability to hit left-handers became a huge problem.

Now, we know that Granderson hit 41 homers last season while driving home 119 and scoring 136. But it's a myth that this power surge came from out of nowhere. He made major adjustments to his swing in August of 2010 and started the heavy hitting before that season ended. In the last 46 games of '10, Granderson hit 14 home runs, which prorates to a pace of 49 in a 162-game season.

In addition to that, he's cured his woes against lefties. In fact, Granderson hit for better rate stats against left-handers (.272/.347/.597) than against righties (.258/.372/.531) in 2011.

Also, if you wanna whine about Yankee Stadium being friendly to left-handed hitters -- which, yes, it is -- please at least note that Granderson hit 21 home runs at home and 20 on the road last year.

Finally, durability is in Granderson's favor. From 2006-11 he averaged 152 games per season while Ellsbury only played 18 games in all of 2010.

The case for Ellsbury

After a lost 2010 season, Ellsbury ended up being perhaps the best offensive player in the American League in 2011. He led the majors with 364 total bases while hitting .321/.376/.552 with 32 homers, 105 RBI, 119 runs, 46 doubles and 39 stolen bases. This guy was a fantasy baseball players' dream last season.

Similar to Granderson, Ellsbury has to fight the stigma that his power surge was either a fluke or "came from out of nowhere." With Ellsbury it pretty much did, though. He only hit 10 career home runs in 259 minor-league games. He entered 2011 with 20 home runs in 1,510 big-league plate appearances. The explanation is that Ellsbury's home runs per fly ball went all the way up to 16.7 percent. That's a large figure for a guy his size, but it's certainly possible he developed power while in the majors. He wouldn't be the first guy to do so.

Ellsbury also took home the Gold Glove in center, while most advanced defensive metrics scored him as one of the very best defensive players in baseball.

Age is in Ellsbury's favor, too, though it's not near as big a deal as one might think. Ellsbury turned 28 in September while Granderson will turn 31 in March. So it's a difference of 2 1/2 years.

Our call

I believe it comes down to if you believe Ellsbury's power in 2011 was real. He's superior everywhere else, but power was a huge reason Ellsbury had a far better WAR than Granderson in '11 and finished higher in MVP voting despite the Red Sox's collapse. Next year at this time it will be a much easier answer, but for now I'm rolling the dice and going Ellsbury.

Fan Vote:



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Comments

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: February 7, 2012 10:42 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

LMFAO...another GIANT LOSS for the Patsies!

Tish joked today...111 million viewers saw the last episode of the Brady bunch on Sunday!

Too funny...LITTLE BROTHER LOSES YET AGAIN! 



Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2012 12:38 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Please do go into the demensions of Yankee Staduim vs.  Fenway as a factor on deciding which of these 2 players you want on your team.  But for the record many a power RH hitters have shunned NY for other venues because of the deep LF demensions of Yankee Stadium.  Many balls that are doubles in Fenway would be outs at Yankee Staduim.  Fenway is a telephone booth in comparison to Yankee Stadium except for the geometrical mess they call "centerfield" there.  Yankee Staduim is where 380ft fly balls hit to the LF power alley go to die, in Fenway they are off the Green Monster.  The only edge I give to Ellsbury is age.  Granderson is a great student and has learned to dominate LH pitching.  The speed is the same but Granderson can run much better going straight back than any CF in both leagues.  If the Yankees weren't so power laden you would see more SB from him but why steal a base when the 3 run homer is coming on the next pitch?  Likeability...edge Granderson.  Curtis gives a better interview, more upbeat, approachable and less intoverted.  Ellsbury to me appears sullen, moody and never really talks about what he can do better to help the team.  Ellsbury is the first one to the showers, Granderson hangs to discuss the game.  As for community involvement Granderson was way more involved in Detroit and NY.  Numbers are not the only factor when comparing these two guys.  Ability, community involvement and cheerleading/encouragement from the bench.  Curtis has it all over Ellsbury!



Since: Feb 3, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:49 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

This deal is pretty simple.....If you put Elsburry in Yankee stadium with that softball length outfield dimension in right and his numbers would be even more ridiculous vs Granderson.

Time for folks to realize why free agents like Granderson, Texeria and A-Rod choose to go to NY.....ans...they can get those weak fly balls to fly out as homers and then somehow hold their heads high as they trot around the bases. Out a sick pack of beer under their arms and they would fit in at most softball parks around the south.

Lambeau,

Psstt!!!  Yankees Right Field:  314 and 385   Fenway Park:  302 and 380.
You can look it up yourself on either team website, MLB.com, or baseballreference.com.  Know your facts before you state stupid comments.

Here are some facts that you should also consider:

The thing that i don't quite get about Ellsbury is the sudden offensive numbers.  I am posting a link that will show both his minor league and major league numbers from baseball reference.com.  There is geberally a gradual "up-trend" in development.  Ellsbury had a 55% increase in almost every stat from his 2008-2009 seasons (his last full seasons).  He came back from a full year injury and raised runs, hits, doubled doubles, quadrupled homers, double RBIs, and raised SLG and OPS by 25%?  I think Ellsbury had a fine year last year, but he had a Pedroia "MVP" type season.  Are we really going to see those types of numbers again?  They came out of nowhere in a season when the Red Sox NEEDED a field warrior. 



Please review Granderson's numbers.  They have always been the same whether he was in the minors or the majors.  He has gradually gotten better from year to year to year.  He is in the middle of his prime while Ellsbury is just hitting his prime. 



I am looking at this from a consistency point of view.  Ellsbury is 3 years younger so has youth on his side, but this one great year out of nowhere nakes me cautious to choose him.  I see the trend of Granderson, I know where he is going.  I have to choose him. 

On the other fronts, of defense and speed I give the edge to Ellsbury.  If Ellsbury repeats last year's offensive performance this year, he wins this debate.  Right now I am not convinced he will perform the same this year as he did last year.

This what you call a post with researched facts, Lambeau.

Viz






Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2012 6:06 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Not suggesting the polls are a science.

What I was suggesting is that Snyder included three Yankee players in these comparison pieces and then threw them all under the proverbial bus for lesser players!

It took the polls to straighten him out!

Of course no Sox fan could ever be accused of being a 'homer' now, could they?

Little Brother...the complex never goes away! 



Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2012 11:36 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Gotta love clergyjack's reasoning...the masses who vote for these polls just HAVE to be right.

The fact that NYY's have more fans than any of the other players' teams against whom they were compared obviously means nothing, right?  Like...just MAYBE the polls are skewed?  Not saying they ARE, but isn't it entirely possible if not probable that they are to a certain degree? 

Ah, forget it.  No point in elaborating on the argument when you have a clear-cut homer like this clown...reason is obviously not his strong suit.  The guy only brought up Yankee votes as examples of 'obvious' bias.

What a joke. 




Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2012 7:38 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

<Out a sick pack of beer under their arms and they would fit in at most softball parks around the south>

Or with the third place losers in the Red Sox clubhouse eating chicken!



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2012 7:36 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Maybe that's because....Snyder's a MORON!

...and a third place BloSox fan.



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2012 6:17 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Gotta love the results of these comparison polls:

Snyder takes Little Brother over Granderson...the Board says 43% for Little Brother and 57% for Granderson!

Snyder takes Little Brother Pedey over Cano...the Board says 37% for Little Brother Pedey and 63% for Cano!

Snyder takes Cliff Gypsy Lee over CC...the Board says 45% for the Gypsy and 55% for CC!

Gotta love it! 



Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: February 1, 2012 3:43 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Grandy man, no doubt. 



Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2012 3:19 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

This deal is pretty simple.....If you put Elsburry in Yankee stadium with that softball length outfield dimension in right and his numbers would be even more ridiculous vs Granderson.

Time for folks to realize why free agents like Granderson, Texeria and A-Rod choose to go to NY.....ans...they can get those weak fly balls to fly out as homers and then somehow hold their heads high as they trot around the bases. Out a sick pack of beer under their arms and they would fit in at most softball parks around the south.


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