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: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 8:02 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

notorious....are you stupid?  Playing center field doesn't change much ??? Are you serious?  Have you actually ever watched a Red Sox game?  Too used to the Yankee Stadium to realize that other stadiums have tougher fields to field in?  I mean seriously people, if your going to say something at least sound intelligent.
Uh, yeah bro.  I live in Massachussetts and have been to Fenway Park.  While I did live in New Jersey, I never went to Yankee Stadium.  However, when fielding in center field, not taking into account for dimensions, the ball leaves the bat the same way, from the same angles no matter what park you're playing center field.  Visually, there is little difference between playing center field in Fenway or Dodger Stadium.  The only difference comes down to the dimensions and shape of the park.  But that has little to do with seeing the ball properly which is the most important fundamental needed to play a position.  So, I stand by my comment.  Playing center field is relatively the same in any park.  All the fundamentals are the same, it's just the adjustments made here and there to acclimate to the environment.

And, to the last part, since you decided to say something, shouldn't you have heeded your own advice?  You just called me stupid, asked me a bunch of question, and yet still didn't give any evidence to refute what I had said.  Good job at spewing nonsense without bothering to have any substance to it.



Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: January 29, 2012 8:02 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

You want numbers jackass read the freaking article, it is full of them. Although numbers don't seem to mean anything to you. Here is the big number, average games played by Granderson 152 over the last 5 years, games played in 2010 by Ellsbury 18. How you like those numbers??? 

Now you can go back to talking about Dex's wife.......



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 7:53 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Can we have another poll besides Granderson vs Ellsbury, who is the bigger a-hole Dex Morgan or Notorious???? If you girls wanna have a cat fight, take it somewhere else......
Or there could be a better poll.  Can Lizard King present any factual evidence to back up his opinion in an argument?  The answer would likely be a resounding "No."



Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2012 7:42 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

notorious....are you stupid?  Playing center field doesn't change much ??? Are you serious?  Have you actually ever watched a Red Sox game?  Too used to the Yankee Stadium to realize that other stadiums have tougher fields to field in?  I mean seriously people, if your going to say something at least sound intelligent.  Saying it's the same thing to play center in Yankee Stadium compared to Center field in Fenway, you just HAVE TO BE Stupid.  There is no comparison and furthermore, just looking at the batting averages alone between these two should tell you enough.  Career .301 hitter to career .267 hitter???? Your only a Yankee fan if you can say you'd rather take the .267 hitter.  If Ellsbury played in nearly the 1000 games that Granderson has, he'd be over 1000 hits already(Grandy only has 970), he'd have over 300 SBs(Granderson 104), RBIs would basically be a wash and Granderson would have him in just 1 major category....HRs.  So I guess now adays hitting more home runs washes out a better overall hitter.  Chicks do dig the long ball after all right Yankee fans.



Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: January 29, 2012 7:25 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Can we have another poll besides Granderson vs Ellsbury, who is the bigger a-hole Dex Morgan or Notorious???? If you girls wanna have a cat fight, take it somewhere else......



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 6:29 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

but Granderson's team made the playoffs, and that's pretty important, so I would pick Grandy
Hard to count that against Ellsbury.  While the rest of the team was falling apart in September/October, he hit .358 with 8 of the team's 33 HRs.



Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2012 5:54 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Well, it wasn't like the Red Sox didn't have a lot of good hitters around Jacoby Ellsbury...they did, and he did very well. He can steal bases, hit for power and average, and drive h\in runs. What more can you ask for...well, Curtis Granderson can do exactly the same thing for the Yankees. He won a lot of games for them with his bat and glove. Does Ellsbury have a better glove...I don't know, but Granderson's team made the playoffs, and that's pretty important, so I would pick Grandy...now if it were a Fantasy baseball draft pick, I'd go with Ellsbury.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 5:37 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

To the person with the retards in his Av. Shut up already, gilbert. I'm quite sure you have never picked up a glove in your pathetic lifetime. I love how geeks come on here and try to act like they know something about sports.. Herpes harvester.
Awwww, somebody's getting butt hurt.  It's so cute.  Try trolling somebody that will fall for your trolling next time.  Considering both of my kids have an IQ higher than yours at the age of 5 months (with my son being considerably more endowed than you) I'd stop attempting to insult the guy who gave them that high IQ.  Your insults are nothing more than rudimentary grade school humor.  Hardly impressive at all.  Give it a better go next time and give your wife a kiss for me.  Oh wait, that's right, she doesn't let you touch her anymore.  She's only the property of real men now.


DEX_MORGAN
Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: January 29, 2012 5:30 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



DEX_MORGAN
Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: January 29, 2012 5:27 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



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