The Yankees traded Austin Jackson this offseason because despite the fact that they liked him, they liked Curtis Granderson more. However, through most of the season Granderson was either injured or a disappointment or both.
While Granderson was struggling, Jackson was thriving in Detroit. His BABIP might have been sky high, suggesting that he was over achieving, and he might have been showing very little power, but he was still hitting north of .300 while providing exceptional speed and defense. It made the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman look bad.
So the Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long went to work with Granderson on fixing his swing to untap some of that amazing potential G-Unit showed with Detroit. It wasn’t anything major, but he cut out excessive movement and lowered his hands.
If the first 23 games after the fix are any indication, Granderson has done a complete 180. Here are his numbers:
23 G, 80 AB, 12 R, 24 H, 4 2B, 7 HR, 15 RBI, 10 BB, 16 SO, .300 BA, .385 OBP, .613 SLG, .997 OPS.
His BABIP is right where you want it too at .298 (.300 is about the league average and means he isn’t getting extraordinarily lucky). On top of that, the guy famous for not being able to hit lefties is crushing them. Since the fix he’s hitting .414 with three doubles and a pair of homers against southpaws.
It’s still early and there is certainly no guarantee that this will carry over into next season or even the playoffs. If this is a turning point in his career, the Yankees might have bought low on Granderson instead of making a poor trade. Just like another outfielder roaming Yankee Stadium, Nick Swisher, who is currently having a career year in Pinstripes.