Mets360 2015 projections: Curtis Granderson

It’s generally accepted that when you sign a high-ticket free agent to a multi-year deal that the last part of the contract rarely pays off. In other words, you pay at the end for production at the front. But what happens when the production at the front is underwhelming? That’s the situation the Mets find themselves with Curtis Granderson.

Optimists point to Carlos Beltran, who had a rough first year with the Mets but who rebounded to become one of the few $100 million free agents to be worth their contract. But Beltran was 28 in his first year with the Mets while Granderson was 33 last year. The optimists also hope that being reunited with former Yankees batting coach Kevin Long will help turn back the clock for Granderson.

Meanwhile, the pessimists point out to his 1.0 fWAR last year, which FanGraphs pegged as being worth $5.3 million, compared to the $13 million he actually received. They’ll also bring up his dreadful April and equally horrific August. In those two months, Granderson amassed 224 PA where he hit like Daisuke Matsuzaka. Why expect him to be better at age 34?

So, are we optimists or pessimists? Here’s how we think he’ll do:

Albanesius 600 .245 .340 .390 19 60 .280
Ferguson 650 .240 .340 .415 21 80 .315
Hangley 620 .239 .345 .467 25 95 .270
Joura 640 .244 .341 .420 23 75 .279
Koehler 625 .225 .330 .400 25 70 .265
Kolton 496 .234 .298 .335 8 42 .251
McCarthy 633 .248 .349 .466 27 79 .280
Netter 550 .268 .327 .449 31 88 .276
Newman 620 .225 .350 .415 22 75 .295
Parker 620 .230 .320 .385 17 65 .275
Rogan 660 .240 .320 .450 23 70 .275
Singer 612 .236 .340 .407 25 78 .274
Vasile 650 .230 .325 .430 26 89 .270
Walendin 630 .234 .311 .429 24 71 .287

It appears we’re optimistic. In all, 12 of us think he’ll exceed last year’s .714 OPS while only two of us think he’ll slip even further. Julian McCarthy sees an .815 OPS while Matt Netter envisions 31 HR. Yet Doug Parker sees a ho-hum .705 OPS and Dan Kolton sees a dropoff to just 8 HR.

Here’s our group projection:

Curtis Granderson

Overall, we see a slight increase in average and a larger, although not massive, increase in slugging. Our .275 BABIP is also a jump from his 2014 output but a good bit away from his lifetime .300 mark in the category. It’s an improvement over last year but is it worth $16 million?

Now, let’s see how our projection stacks up against those currently available on FanGraphs:

Mets360 615 .239 .330 .415 23 74 .275
Steamer 534 .222 .314 .398 19 61 .263
ZiPS 521 .231 .319 .424 21 60 .274

All three of us see a similar year from Granderson. Our projection, outside of playing time, is almost identical to ZiPS. PA is the only area where the three groups disagree. We expect much more playing time for Granderson, even with the low average.

Check back Saturday for our next entry in the projection series.

18 comments for “Mets360 2015 projections: Curtis Granderson

  1. Patrick Albanesius
    February 11, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I’d be just fine with that kind of year. Not saying it’s worth $16 million, but I’m also not expecting $16 million worth of value to begin with.

  2. TexasGusCC
    February 11, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    I think Granderson is getting a raw deal. While Dan may be right and he only hits 8 homeruns, nothing in his history would make anyone expect such a low result if the expectation is more than 400 at bats.

    Let’s now breakdown Granderson’s 1.0 WAR:

    He was placed in right field last year to accommodate the two Youngs. One that was such a proud signing that he was promised certain opportunities even though he has stunk for three years running, and the other was “the only leadoff hitter” on the roster. So, Granderson’s Fangraphs defensive rating of -17.2 was mostly due to his poor throwing arm. We can surmise this because he had a 37.5% achievement of catching flyballs that were in the “remote” category (10%-40% chance of being caught). That’s pretty good! So he definitely can cover ground. Shifting to left field and not needing to have as good an arm while covering pretty good ground can only make that defensive rating shoot up, thus increasing his overall WAR.

    Now for the offense. He rated 43rd offensively for all qualified outfielders with a 6.5 rating. Not great, but that is the middle of the pack for a player that last year everyone agrees just sucked at times. Miscast once again in his offensive role, first he was a cleanup hitter and having the pressure of being in a spot he wasn’t familiar with and then put in the table setting spots of #1 and #2, he was dreadful hitting .198 in about 1/3 of his at bats. But, when placed in a less pressure #5 or #6 spots, he hit .268.

    Therefore, between being in a comfort zone offensively and moved to a more favorable defensive position according to his abilities, I don’t see why he couldn’t have a 2.8 WAR like Murphy had last year who also was poor defensively and not having many homeruns, but everyone agrees was more a consistent accumulator of statistics by not having a good OBP, but playing all the time thus scoring alot of runs.

    Lastly, while I am not Granderson’s lawyer, one thing that warms the heart of us fans is clutch hitting. Guess who was #1 of the Mets qualified hitters according to Fangraphs? Yep, the Grandy man. What do you have to say to that?

    I’m not expecting miracles, but I think he can do a .269/.340/.415 stat line, with 75 runs scored as I expect TDA and Flores behind him to rock, 80 RBI, and 28 homeruns.

    • TexasGusCC
      February 11, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      Sorry, make that .435 slugging.

    • February 12, 2015 at 8:51 am

      In 2013, Lucas Duda ranked 260th out of 276 hitters with at least 300 PA in FG clutch rankings with a (-1.44)
      In 2014, he ranked 111th out of 263 with a clutch ranking of .05

      In 2013, David Wright had a (-1.05) clutch ranking and in 2014 it was .26

      In 2013, Juan Lagares had a (-1.23) clutch ranking and in 2014 it was .72

      This is a descriptive stat. Like WPA, it tells you what happened – not what’s likely to happen in the future. It’s great the Granny was clutch in 2014. Perhaps he will be again in 2015 but I wouldn’t wager on it either way.

      • TexasGusCC
        February 12, 2015 at 9:11 am

        The Granny, LOL!! As the late Rodney Dangerfield would say, “This is a tough crowd, a tough crowd I tell you”.

  3. Metsense
    February 11, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    I can’t get on the Curtis Granderson rebound bandwagon after the disappointing season he had in 2014. Time may be catching up to Curtis and the Mets still owe him $45M. Seattle had been looking for a power bat in LF all winter. I was hoping that they could have moved him to Seattle for Michael Saunders who is 27 YOA, 273/341/450/791 and paid only 2.9M. Was Saunders a solution? No, but he was a serviceable outfielder that would have alleviated the risk of Granderson’s $45M. ( I realize Saunders was traded elsewhere) The savings from Granderson could have been reinvested in another outfielder via trade. Heavens knows enough outfielders were traded this past winter. Trading Granderson would have been an acknowledgement by Sandy that the signing was a mistake which i don’t think Sandy wants to own up to. Instead the Mets decided to move in the fences and hire a batting coach as the solution to Granderson’s 2014 decline.
    PA 632, avg .220, OBP .310, SLG 390,HR 21, RBI 60, BABIP 265
    The PA is still high because I don’t think that TC will sit him. I hope I am wrong on this one.

  4. Scott Ferguson
    February 12, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I’ve said it repeatedly this offseason. I think Granderson will be fine. Baseball contracts can be absurdly unworthy. Is Texeira worth over 20 million, ARod 30 million, Pujols and Hamilton 25 mill plus and I could go on. Is Grandy worth 16 million? No he isn’t, but most players that are making 16 million plus aren’t. Granderson will hit his 20 plus homeruns, play solid defense in left, walk and strikeout a bunch while having hot streaks that make him look like a top 10 player and cold streaks that make you wonder if he should be a major leaguer.

    My gut tells me the hot will outweigh the cold and our prediction will be on the money.

  5. Name
    February 12, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I have no reason to doubt that he won’t be Jason Bay part 2, so that makes the projection a bit easier.

    In his Bay’s first year, Bay had a 105 OPS+.
    In Granderson’s first year, he had a 105 OPS+

    In Bay’s 2nd year, all his rate stats dropped, but he did hit more HRs per ABs.

    So for Granderson, i’ll go with a Hr/ab of 23, which means over a 600 PA season that’s 26 HRs. Triple slash of .220/.315/.380

  6. February 12, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    When I look at the Jason Bay signing, I see a free agent who got seriously injured. He ran headfirst in the outfield twice and had his brain rattled. He was never remotely the same player.

    I realize I’m in the minority on this issue, but I just think it’s a mistake to make the narrative anything other than that. It wasn’t that bad of a signing — the Mets desperately needed a RH bat. The guy got hurt. Sure, I wish they grabbed Holiday instead but, oh well. You can’t predict injuries.

  7. Ian
    February 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    There’s no way Granderson hits only 8 HR over a full season of PA’s. If he does, I’ll move from West Palm Beach to Seattle and become a Mariners fan (you heard it here first!)

    I like the other projections, as optimistic as they may be. I say he still hits 20 homers while approaching the .250 mark. He’s streaky, yes, but those hot streaks literally carried the offense at certain points last year. If he could cut down the slumps, he’ll be one of the more dangerous hitters on the team, if not the most dangerous.

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

  8. Eraff
    February 12, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    22-28 Belts….. 82-87 Ribs…. 339 OBP…. 440 SLUG

  9. silvers194
    February 12, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Granderson’s problem last year was that the deeper he went in the count, the lower his BA dropped. He was sub-.200 after the third pitch, and dreadful with 2 strikes. If Long and the FO continues to demand using the “work-the-count approach”, we will not see improvement in Granderson’s numbers from last year.

    • February 13, 2015 at 9:33 am

      I’m less concerned with his AVG and more concerned about OBP & SLG. Here’s how he did after the 3rd pitch:

      After 3-0 — he had a 1.486 OPS
      After 3-1 — he had a 1.205 OPS
      After 3-2 — he had an .861 OPS
      After 2-1 — he had a .928 OPS
      After 2-2 — he had a .624 OPS
      After 1-2 — he had a .437 OPS

      I think that’s a pretty typical progression. Let’s compare him to Juan Lagares

      After 3-0 — he had a .879 OPS
      After 3-1 — he had a .721 OPS
      After 3-2 — he had a 1.192 OPS
      After 2-1 — he had a .725 OPS
      After 2-2 — he had a .818 OPS
      After 1-2 — he had a .612 OPS

      Lagares held a .175 OPS edge with a 1-2 count but Granderson had a whopping .607 edge with a 3-0 count. Now there’s more 1-2 counts than there are 3-0 counts, so even that huge edge might be negated.

      As for Granderson specifically, it’s not so much deeper counts as it is being behind with two strikes. Very few players do well in this situation but Granderson last year might have been below average.

  10. silvers194
    February 13, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Brian —– In AB’s of more than 3 pitches CG batted .197 (63 H’s in 319 AB’s).

    In AB’s of 3 pitches or less he batted .265 (65 H’s in 245 AB’s). He batted 68 points higher when he was more aggressive and swung earlier in the count. Unfortunately Long and the FO preach going deeper in the count no matter who the batter is. Thankfully Murph ignores that nonsense and goes to the plate looking for a hit, and with much greater success.

    You can consider walks and OBP if you choose but I don’t think the Mets are paying $16 mm a year for walks. The summary is pretty clear that “work the count” did not work for Granderson last year, and is unlikely to work this year.

    • February 13, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      It’s not 1970 anymore – we know there are better things to look at than batting average.

      And you’re ignoring the fact that Granderson does fine in 3-0, 3-1, 3-2 and 2-1 counts. It’s not seeing a lot of pitches that’s the problem – it’s being behind in the count. If you want to say he should never take a fastball down the heart of the plate, I agree with that. But I don’t want him swinging at outside pitches just because it’s the second or third pitch of the AB. That’s just crazy.

  11. silvers194
    February 13, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Brian —- I watched Granderson and Duda take fastballs down broadway then wave at 2-strike breaking balls until I wanted to kick the TV last year. It got better with Duda after Hudgens was let go and also for dA. But Granderson stayed with the same approach all season. I am advocating being aggressive early in the count, not swinging at pitches out of the zone, and especially for CG.

    I disagree that CG does well in 3-2 counts —– he batted .183 with 4 HR’s 11 RBI’s, 35 BB’s and 27 K’s in 106 PA’s. If you remove the full counts from the other counts you list, he was ahead in just 16% of his PA’s beyond 3 pitches (106 of 654). So taking pitches got him a favorable count 16% of the time. Why? Because P’s know he will take strikes early and have adjusted, because he is “working the count”. Unfortunately it is working to his and the Mets disadvantage.

    • February 13, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Tell you what — keep track this year of all of the fastballs down the pike that Granderson looks at when he already has a strike and keep me posted.

      • silvers194
        February 13, 2015 at 7:12 pm

        I think it will be obvious to all of us in the results. Not many old dogs learn new tricks at age 34 but I hope I am wrong and your prediction is right.

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