By now we’re all familiar with Curtis Granderson. We’ve heard the stories about how he’s a great teammate, we’ve seen him be extremely durable, we’ve witnessed terrible streakiness and last year’s dismal numbers with runners in scoring position. But now we’ve got a little bit of an unknown thrown into the equation. It looks like the Mets will be counting on Granderson to play CF the majority of the time, at least at the beginning of the year.

Granderson played CF in 36 games last year, including 32 starts, and amassed 251 inning at the position. That’s not a particularly big sample. But in what little we saw, he was perfectly acceptable. And few will forget his catch in the Wild Card game, where Statcast had him covering 102 feet(!) before catching the ball on the run and crashing into the wall. Overall, he had a +1 DRS and a 0.3 UZR and successfully handled 53 of the 54 plays that Inside Edge Fielding graded as “Routine” or “Likely,” those that are caught at least 60 percent of the time.

Also, in our tiny sample, when he played center last year is when Granderson did his best hitting of the season, as he posted a .273/.393/.609 line in 135 PA. It’s very likely that we cannot conclude much of anything, either defensively or offensively, from Granderson’s play in center in 2016. What little we can say is that we did not witness anything that would make us horrified of seeing him play more of the position in 2017. Now, it may very well turn out that 90 or more games gives us a completely different picture than 34. But the picture at 34 games was just fine.

So, here are our individual forecasts for Granderson in 2017:

Dalton Allsion 453 .245 .352 .470 27 72 60
Joe Barbieri 615 .238 .311 .438 24 72 65
John Fox 600 .240 .338 .430 23 63 60
Charlie Hangley 590 .245 .373 .517 31 97 145
Brian Joura 616 .241 .342 .436 26 67 120
Mike Koehler 500 .230 .330 .415 25 68 130
Matt Netter 450 .240 .330 .450 25 55 65
Jim O’Malley 508 .252 .344 .458 23 66 78
Rob Rogan 615 .225 .320 .400 23 58 90
Mike Ryan 655 .243 .353 .462 26 83 75
Chris Walendin 640 .241 .341 .445 24 72 25

We see quite a range of outcomes for Granderson here. Offensively we have Rob thinking he’ll produce a .720 OPS while Charlie predicts an .890 mark. Charlie’s a bit of an outlier, as the next highest OPS is the .822 mark forecasted by Dalton. But four of our 11 panel members see an OPS of .800 or greater while two see him below a .750 OPS. Defensively it’s a similar tale. Charlie again is the most bullish, seeing him there for 145 games. Meanwhile, Chris sees only 25. But Chris is the only one to see fewer than 60 games.

Here’s our group forecast for Granderson in 2017:


After he posted a .799 OPS in 2016, we see Granderson putting up a .786 mark this year. And we see a decrease in playing time, too, although that’s at least in part due to our expectation for him not to start as a leadoff hitter 81 times this season. How optimistic are we? Let’s check to see what the computer models project:

Mets360 567 .241 .341 .445 25 70
Steamer 592 .235 .334 .424 22 63
ZiPS 538 .238 .331 .433 21 57

Looks like we’re slightly optimistic but certainly in the right ballpark. The main issue seems to be RBIs but this is a case where the humans know something that the computer models don’t in that it’s likely that Granderson will bat lower in the order, particularly whenever Jose Reyes starts.

The ZiPS comp for Granderson is Steve Finley. Once again, we have a guy who falls off in the equivalent age for the coming season. At 35, Finley put up a 121 OPS+ but at age 36, what Granderson will be in 2017, Finley dropped to a 91 OPS+. But hey, the raw OPS total for Finley was .767, which isn’t too far from our projection for Granderson. Of course, Finley did his in the middle of the Silly Ball era, accounting for the low OPS+.

Please look for our next entry in the projection series on Tuesday.

16 comments on “Mets360 2017 projections: Curtis Granderson

  • Eraff

    It looks like lots of 150 game projections, based on a 600’ish PA…i hope that’s about 10-20 games too heavy. I’d like to see Curtis at 450-525 PA’s…550 at most.

  • TJ

    Like Eraff, I think 130 games give or take is the sweet spot for both Curtis and the Mets. By limiting his ABs against LHP, his OBP cold push upwards some. And, at 36 and likely spending more innings in CF, a couple of days off a week should keep him fresh.

    • Jimmy P

      I agree with TJ. I think Curtis breaks down if used too much in CF.

      Always a worry with TC. He tends to give guys a rest when they are gassed, not to keep them fresh. A critical difference.

      Reyes has same issue, and Cabrera has old knees. These guys need regular breaks.

      • Brian Joura

        It’s so frustrating because we saw with Kelly Johnson that TC is capable of managing a player’s workload yet for some reason that has been the exception rather than the rule.

        I worry more so about this with Jose Reyes than I do for Granny. We’ve seen Granny play nearly every day and be productive. I don’t think we’ll see that from Reyes.

        There is quality depth for the manager to give starters days off and keep bench players engaged. We’ll see how it develops.

  • TexasGusCC

    IMO, Mets missed a golden opportunity this past winter. Granderson would have brought something good back and Conforto in CF for 6 innings and Lagares to close it up would have been a good combo. Bruce wasn’t the piece to push, Grandy was. Not because he’s a bad player, but because the demands of a full season in CF have hurt the performance and health of many 36 year olds.

    Look at Torri Hunter, look at Mike Cameron, or even Carlos Beltran: Great centerfielders that by their mid-30’s had to move to the corner for their health and their effectiveness.

    • Name

      I’m puzzled. What moves made this winter would prove that Granny had any value?

      I suppose very very early in the winter, there was a small chance you could have suckered someone into giving you something with a little money eaten, or taken the whole contract for free, but with guys like Bautista, E5, and Trumbo getting fractions of what they wanted, Granny would have suffered the same fate.

      If he were a free agent and he signed early this winter, he may gotten as much as 1/12mil. If he waited, he’d probably be looking at something like 1/6mil.

      • TexasGusCC

        In December we heard that the Orioles wanted Granderson for their reliever, not Bruce. Too, there were reports that teams were asking for Granny and then Anderson put out a presser that Granderson was not being shopped but rather Bruce was. Had to be a reason for that.

        Granny may have run into the same difficulties Bautista had, but they all got some money except for Trumbo who wears a glove for show.

      • TexasGusCC

        Don’t forget, Bautista is older, not as durable, nor as good defensively and he got $18MM and an option. Granderson should have gotten at least 2 years at that rate.

        • Name

          Did you really just say that Granny would have gotten 2 years at 18 mil? I’m speechless…

  • DED

    My guess is what we won’t see is a “normal” regression in Curtis’ play. Either he will outperform our expectations, or else he will hit the wall.

    If I was choosing I would bet on the latter. Curtis may have already had his adjustment year last year; his hitting was abysmal for the first 2/3 season, then he made adjustments and delivered good offense. A number of very good to great players are able to make that adjustment late in their careers, but when does it ever last longer than one year?

    • Brian Joura

      I don’t agree with your premise that Granderson was abysmal for 2/3 of 2016.

      Your question has a bit of a circular answer. If a veteran player has a bad year and doesn’t bounce back to his previous production, his career is over. And that can come at any time. But a guy can have a bad year at any age, bounce back and continue to play. Jason Bay has a bad year at 32 and his career is quickly over. Robinson Cano has a bad year at 32, bounces back at 33 and seems destined to play several more years. Steve Pearce also bounced back last year at the same age.

      Or, if you think 32 is too young – Willie Stargell lost 97 points of OPS at age 36 and rebounded to put up a .900+ OPS the next three years and played three years as a part-timer after that.

      Willie Mays lost 137 points of OPS at age 36 and came back to put up a combined .860 OPS over his next four years.

      Hank Aaron lost 91 points of OPS at age 34 and came back to put up five years of a combined .977 OPS.

      Willie McCovey lost 157 points of OPS at age 34 and came back to put up three years of a combined .896 OPS and played five years after that. Four of those he was a part-timer and the one year he played a full season, he put up an .867 OPS.

      Stan Musial lost 158 points of OPS at age 38 and over the next three years he put up a combined .879 OPS.

      • Name

        If i cherry pick the worst stretch he had a .214/.302/.404 slash line over 410 PA in 99 games (basically 2/3 of his season) from 5/1-8/29

        OBP/SLG similar to Loney, so that equates to about a 86-88 OPS+.

        His overall line was saved by the crapola known as September pitching.

        • Brian Joura

          Sure, if you ignore two of his best stretches of the year, he was below-average. I still wouldn’t call that abysmal.

          We’ve been over this plenty already. Granderson had three extended good stretches and two extended bad stretches. His bad stretches were really, really bad. But I can’t see how a guy who put up an .818 OPS in 101 PA in April and an .855 OPS over 228 consecutive PA in May-June-July should be described as abysmal. That’s 2/3 of his pre-September PA where he was quite good.

  • Nymets6986

    Got to love Grandy. If he had people on base in front of him his 30 hrs would have given him a lot more RBIs. We are fine with him in CF and Lagares backing him up. Conforto will get plenty of ABs. Very optimistic about 2017!

  • MattyMets

    I really hope that something opens up (spring training injury on another team for example) so we can trade Bruce before the season starts. Conforto needs to play every day (or close to it) in right field. I don’t want to mess with this kid by sending him to triple A or moving him around the diamond. Now that we filled out the bullpen we can be less particular about the trade return. San Francisco has a clear need but doesn’t want to spend the money. I know Sandy stubbornly doesn’t want to pay part of his salary, but teams either have no need for Bruce or else don’t have the money.

  • Metsense

    Granderson will platoon in center field with Lagares and equally split the time in RF with Bruce when Lagares starts. He then should be facing less LHP which should help his slash line.His age should cause some regression also. 128 games in centerfield may be difficult to accomplish but there should be plenty of opportunity for TC to rest him and keep him around 145 total games for the season.
    612 PA 235 BA 336 OBP 466 SLG 21 HR 66 RBI 128 CF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.