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: Jun 15, 2010
Posted on: January 28, 2012 8:12 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

hey lizard king, you mean the clowns who vote on the gold glove? yea you in your mother's basement know more about baseball then they do. btw i have no dog in this fight, i hate both teams....  GO RAYS!



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2012 7:34 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Well let's just say character speaks for itself...and Granderson isn't one of those guys!  Curtis is one of the highest character guys in all of MLB!
HAHAHAHAHA.  Mark McGwire was a high character guy as well.  As far as I've ever been able to tell, Andy Pettite was a high character guy too.  Jason Giambi.  Benito Santiago.  Sammy Sosa.  Let's not get ahead of ourselves and say stupid things that have no basis on the topic at hand.  Making the assumption that Granderson isn't using HGH because he's a high character guy is laughable.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2012 7:29 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Whats absolutley hilarious is the clowns who think Ellsbury is better defensively.
They probably think that because Ellsbury has 2 errors in his career.  Granderson had 3 last year alone.  That's 1,212 chances for Ellsbury and 2 errors.  368 for Granderson (last season) and 3.

Do any of you realize Granderson plays half his game in the Grand Canyon that is Yankee Stadium. Duh, ever actually seen him run a ball down in left center field in Yankee Stadium????? No need to watch Ellsbury do it, because its off the wall in Fenway
The dimensions of both stadiums are roughly the same and neither one of them are "pitcher's parks."

Wow,, people are stupid!!!!!
Yep.  Blind, homer Yankee fans would fit into that category.



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: January 28, 2012 7:12 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

But it isn't like they didn't advance in the playoffs...they MISSED THE PLAYOFFS to a team with a 50 million dollar payroll!

MISSED THE PLAYOFFS BECAUSE OF 'THE MOST EPIC SEPTEMBER COLLAPSE BY A MLB TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL'

Wrap your mind around that fact for a few minutes and then tell me you still want your guys over New York's!

PLEASE SNYDER! 



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: January 28, 2012 7:06 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

If Snyder wants to pick all these different Sox players that he is pitting against Pinstripers, let him pick!
But just one question then:

If they are so much better, why couldn't they win, or at least make the playoffs last year?
It's a fair question I think.  The Sox were the popular choice last year before the season started.
But it isn't like they didn't advance in the playoffs...they MISSED THE PLAYOFFS to a team with a 50 million dollar payroll!

And again, mark my words...with the coming of HGH testing, you will see a correction in power numbers.  Who are the guys who have been using? Well let's just say character speaks for itself...and Granderson isn't one of those guys!  Curtis is one of the highest character guys in all of MLB!

Not sure you can say that about some of the other guys in Snyder's recent conversations...no accusations mind you...just saying! 



Since: Aug 28, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 3:37 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

 Sure Granderson had a big power year at the plate (Roid induced? Yanks fans love to point at Bautista, but Grandys numbers were pretty out of the blue too)
Curtis Granderson's last year spent with the Detroit Tigers, he blasted 30 out of COMERICA (345 x 420 x  330)  So to say 41 is out of nowhere is laughable considering he moved to a park that's 318 x 408 x 314. 
Now, to wonder how a guy hits 32 when his other two full seasons he combined for 17 is a spike to say the least. Grandy has always had power averaging about 25 per in Detroit and hit for power in minors. Ellsbury didn't have power until last year.
All that said, if I need a pure leadoff hitter I'd like Ellsbury but on total skill set, give me Curtis. His defense was overlooked in Detroit and Gardner next to him in a small park doesnt leave much to chase down. He has more power from the plate and a much stronger arm.






Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 3:10 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

The Grandy Man every time. He's a clubhouse leader, a good defender, and consistently puts up excellent offensive numbers. Ellsbury has to prove he isnt a one-year-wonder.



Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:10 am
 

Please be quiet, JoeBeans

I watch every RedSox game (and after last year not sure if im a fan cause i HATE just about everyone on the team) and i dont know if i have EVER seen anyone that AFRAID of running into a wall than this guy
Please take your pink hat and go play elsewhere; a real Sox fan would never spout such nonsense. I hear the Rangers need some more bandwagon fans. Or go and root for your beloved Yankees.

And you OBVIOUSLY do not watch every game, because Ells ran smack into the centerfield wall in Camden Yards which resulted in the first ever inside-the-park homerun hit there. I know this because I was there, and at that moment I knew the Red Sox would find a way to not make it into the playoffs.



Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:22 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

BTW, anyone out there willing to bet Ellsbury plays 140 games this year????????



Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:21 am
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Whats absolutley hilarious is the clowns who think Ellsbury is better defensively. Do any of you realize Granderson plays half his game in the Grand Canyon that is Yankee Stadium. Duh, ever actually seen him run a ball down in left center field in Yankee Stadium????? No need to watch Ellsbury do it, because its off the wall in Fenway..... Wow,, people are stupid!!!!!


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