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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Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 5:27 pm

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

How many errors a guy has, doesn't tell much of his defensive story.  Not hardly any of it.
It does when you're using it as a comparison tool for two players that play the exact same position.  The way you play centerfield doesn't change much from stadium to stadium.  So, when assessing Granderson vs. Ellsbury defensively, the fact that Ellsbury had 0 errors last season, as opposed to 3, with nearly 30 more chances tells me that he's better than Granderson.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 5:21 pm

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

A Silliy Sillies fan. Hey Sillies fan, who's retarded kids are those? The retards in your Av. Did you steal them from the zomm or whore house?  
You shouldn't insult the children your wife bred to me.  She stays married to you, but she prefers a real man to take care of her needs, that's why she comes to me.  Don't be bitter.  Jergens makes millions each year because of losers just like you.

Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: January 29, 2012 4:39 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: January 29, 2012 4:21 pm

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

How many errors a guy has, doesn't tell much of his defensive story.  Not hardly any of it.

Curtis Granderson is an excellent outfielder, but he's not as good as the guy he was traded for.  Still good, but always a little bit awkward.  Weird throwing motion, sets his feet oddly, doesn't have the greatest arm.  But I'd take him over Jacoby Ellsbury.  Speed fades faster than anything.  And Granderson is in the best place possible for his talents.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 2:02 pm

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Yet you don't show us to "proff."
Yet you don't show us THIS "proff."  Corrected.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 2:01 pm

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Granderson is one of if not the top feilder in the bigs
I'll post this again.  Granderson had 3 errors last season.  Ellsbury has 2 in his career.  1,212 chances and 2 errors vs. 368 chances and 3 errors.  Ellsbury is a better fielder.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 1:59 pm

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

I do have proff Sillies fan.. A sillies fan. LOL... The proof is between your ho bags legs. (Or Utleys wife's legs) 
Yet you don't show us to "proff."  But, you're right, there is proof between your daughter's legs.  Half the NBA has seen it.  The proof says you're a dumbass.

Since: Sep 17, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2012 12:30 pm

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

this guy matt snyder has not picked one yankee which really displays his bias.  bad enough he went with pedroia over cano (which i'm pretty certain very few baseball people would ever do).  then he did Lee over CC despite CC being more consistent over time than Lee.  And now he's got Ellsbury over Granderson.  Let's see Ellsbury play like this for at least a few more years (and a few more drug tests) before annointing him the GOAT.

Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: January 29, 2012 11:28 am

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

Yeah! Matt Stairs! Woooo!

lol great post mvc421

Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2012 10:54 am

Would You Rather Have: Granderson or Ellsbury?

ellsbury easily.  granderson is a good player, but ellsbury is superstar good.  granderson has more power, but ellsbury is better in every other aspect.  granderson's defense is beyond overrated.  people think because a player makes a diving play he's good defensively.  granderson makes many of his diving plays because he takes bad routes to the ball, so at the end he had to dive.  too many yankee homers on here.

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