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25 Chasing 28: The 2011 New York Yankees and Curtis Granderson

Name: Curtis Granderson (he doesn't have a middle name), centerfield

DOB: 3/16/1981

Contract Status: Two years plus a team option remain on the 5 year/$30.25 million contract he signed with Detroit in 2008.

2010 stats: .247/.324/.468, 3.6 WAR, 113 wRC+

2010 in review: Granderson had a rough go of it early on in the season, putting up a .240/.309/.409 batting line through the All Star break. Combined with Austin Jackson's hot start, most Yankee fans were ready to deem him a failure and ride him out of town, but he rebounded to post a solid second half that brought his numbers up to respectability. Granderson will be forever linked to Ajax, but by seasons's end the two had put up roughly equal value (Ajax came in at 3.8 WAR), and Granderson seems to be the safer bet for repeating his 2010 performance.

The Good: Granderson is a solid defensive center fielder, efficient on the bases, and absolutely crushes righthanded pitching (career .287/.363/.527 line). His contract is quite reasonable considering what he brings to the table, and while he's probably past his peak, he's a safe bet for 3 WAR per season through the life of his contract.

The Bad: There are lefthanded pitchers in the major leagues, and against them, Granderson looks more like a pitcher at the plate than he does the starting centerfielder for a championship-calibar ballclub. 

2011 Outlook: Granderson's 2007 season (7.4 WAR) overshadows everything that he's done since, but he's still a solid player who should be able to hold his own in the Yankees lineup, as long as the opposing pitcher isn't a tough lefty. He improved his swing late last season which produced good results, so hopefully he can keep that pace going in 2011.