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25 Chasing 28: The New York Yankees Roster & Curtis Granderson

Name: Curtis Granderson

DoB: 3/16/81 

Contract Status: 11:$8.25M, 12:$10M, 13:$13M club option ($2M buyout)

2010 Stats: .247/.324/.468, 109 OPS+, .346 wOBA, 113 wRC+, 3.6 WAR

2010 in Review: Granderson got off to a great start with Yankee fans, slugging a 10th inning homer off Jonathan Papelbon in April. There wasn't much else to be excited about (although Granderson brought exceptional defense with him from Detroit- he was better than I'd hoped) through the first half of the season, when Granderson hit .204/.309/.409.  A midseason re-training session with Kevin Long changed Granderson's swing; instead of flinging the bat through the zone one handed, Granderson now keeps both hands on the bat all the way through his swing, a la Derek Jeter.  The results seem miraculous: .253/.338/.523 in the second half.

The Good: Every Yankee fan is hoping that the second half Granderson is the real thing. While those numbers don't approach his 2007 .302/.361/.552 when he made a case for best outfielder in baseball, second half Granderson is a force to be reckoned with at the top or bottom of the Yankee lineup.

The Bad: Granderson's second half improvement could be a fluke, or it could be transient. Pitchers have found the holes in his swing before; they could find new weaknesses to exploit.  At this point we know who Granderson is, what his skill set looks like- the only question is where those skills will take him.

2011 Outlook: I am a Kevin Long believer.  I doubted he could help improve Arod, and he did. I questioned whether the work with Swisher and Cano would pay off, and it did for both.  Until I see evidence otherwise, if Kevin Long works with a hitter and makes a change, I believe it's a change for the better and a change that will last.