When the New York Mets signed Curtis Granderson to a four-year contract before last year, it was a move expected to boost the lineup and give David Wright some help in the middle of the order. Well, as Mets fans know, things have not worked out exactly as planned.
For one thing, he seems to have rarely played with a David Wright that is actually healthy, and he has been inconsistent with his production. But lately, Granderson has looked like the player fans saw in Detroit and the Bronx. He seems to have made adjustments as the year has gone on and they have really payed off as of the last couple of weeks.
He has even gotten his name thrown into consideration for the All-Star Game by some, but it is highly doubtful he gets serious consideration after his poor start to the year. Either way, he has seemingly become the only player in the Mets lineup who can hit and has provided just about the entire team’s offensive production over the last week or two.
Before the year I wrote about how I thought Granderson would turn it around this year. It took some time to develop and wasn’t really for reasons I expected, but Granderson finally seems to be earning his paycheck. Early in the year, it seemed Granderson became focused on getting on base, consequently limiting his home runs. It seemed to justify his curious placement at the top of the Mets order, but it was not what the team was paying him $16 million to do.
Despite the moving in of the right-center fences, and the bringing in of his former hitting coach Kevin Long (both moves seemingly targeted at Granderson directly), the power seemingly was not coming. Walks are nice and all, but the Mets needed hitting, not an okay hitter who draws a walk a couple of times a series. But recently, it seems that Granderson has dropped the need to walk every time he comes to the plate.
He is swinging more often and going back to naturally pulling the ball. Eventually, he will have to adjust these developments, but right now it is working for him. He seems much more comfortable at the plate, and is looking like the All Star of a couple of years ago. It seems that he has stopped over thinking everything and just gone up to the plate and hit. And boy has it payed off.
Going into the June 30th game against the Cubs, Granderson has an eight game hitting streak, hitting .452 with 5 home runs and 7 RBI over the course of that streak. In the month of June, he is htting .303 with a .902 OPS.
He has provided just about all of the offense in those 8 games, becoming the only threat in the lineup. Well, with Steven Matz of course. It seems that the balls have been really dropping in his favor, and he was even able to hit an opposite field home run in the rain-shortened game against Cincinnati on Sunday.
I have always been a big fan of Granderson, and felt that he would eventually turn it around. Well, hoped he would turn it around probably fits better. I mean, he wasn’t terrible last year or this year. Mets fans have just been hoping for more, which we have gotten lately. But either way, he has been hitting the cover off the ball lately.
Will he keep it up?
I actually do think he will keep it up, maybe not this monstrous, but a threat nonetheless. And that would be huge for a Mets offense starving for somebody to step up, as it seems Lucas Duda has disappeared and Michael Cuddyer needs to be put in a nursing home (I’m kidding – kind of).
If Granderson can hold the fort down until David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud return, that would be huge. It would be even better if he keeps this up permanently. Either way, what Granderson has been doing lately has been really fun to watch. Nobody seems to be mentioning how much he has turned it around. Who would guess that his average would be up to .259 already?
If he stays there with about 25-30 home runs at the end of the year, I would love it. Now, it is just a matter of convincing Terry Collins that his better power and average hitter, for now at least, should be hitting in the middle of the order, not leadoff.