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Well Rounded Granderson Clear Cut AL MVP

By Mike Silva ~ August 23rd, 2011. Filed under: New York Yankees.

Curtis Granderson should win the AL MVP. There shouldn’t be a question about this, despite the Red Sox having three players with outstanding seasons- Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Gonzalez- and Jose Bautista demonstrating extraordinary power in a post-steroid era.

Going into tonight’s action the “Grandy Man” leads the American League in hits, triples, and RBI. He certainly isn’t the best centerfielder in team history, but his season is giving you a combination of Rickey Henderson‘s speed, Mickey Mantle‘s power, and Bernie Williams defensive grace. In the past, you could bring in a LHP to neutralize Granderson; almost turning him into a light hitting pitcher. That’s no longer the case as he’s hitting equally good against LHP. There are no more platoon splits. You could argue that if Granderson is able to produce like this for an extended period he could go down as a better Yankees centerfielder than fan-favorite Bernie Williams. I don’t remember Williams having as good a season on both sides of the ball as Granderson this year.

He has an outstanding shot at the AL MVP. The Red Sox trio will neutralize each other. You could argue it’s a duo (Ellsbury/Pedroia), as Adrian Gonzalez has slumped badly in the second half. Bautista continues to be a nice “rags to riches” story, but doesn’t play like an MVP on the defensive end of the ball. His biggest competition might be Ellsbury, as he’s played Gold Glove defense in center, and provided Boston with numerous clutch hits, although his overall production is a notch below Granderson.

This isn’t a Mark Teixeira/Joe Mauer debate, although I think if Mauer didn’t lead Minnesota to the playoffs in 2009 with a big September, Teixeira had a good chance at winning the MVP. Granderson is the overall best player in the American League. Whether you use advanced metrics, the eye test, or your own special sauce there is no question about it.

Where would the Yankees be without Granderson? According to Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement, Granderson is worth 6 wins to date. That would put the Bombers in a race with Tampa for the Wild Card, as they would be a mere 2 games up. The same holds true for Boston with any of their trio, but none of them have been able to produce a combination of power, speed, defense, and run production like Granderson.

Yankees players are normally penalized in the MVP voting. To do that to Granderson this year would be criminal. If my argument doesn’t convince you, perhaps Yankees radio announcer John Sterling will:

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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6 Responses to Well Rounded Granderson Clear Cut AL MVP

  1. Bruce Freiberg

    Do you really believe that he is more valuable to the Yankees than Justin Verlander is to the Tigers? Without Verlander, the Tigers wouldn’t be close to a division title. Without Granderson, the Yanks would still be right there knocking on the door.

  2. MajorBLeague

    It’s true Verlander is very precious to Detroit, and has led them forward through the season with a chance for the playoffs, however, because he is a pitcher, he does not have as great an impact as a player because he only pitches once every five days. Players like Granderson, Bautista, Gonzalez, etc. Are on the field everyday, and their actions can change the course of a game at any time.

  3. Stu B

    Sterling’s a dork. How does he keep his job?

  4. Will

    I don’t understand how anyone can say a everyday player has more impact than a starting pitcher. A starter faces half the batters in a game if he is in a five man rotation, he is involved in 1/10th of the ab’s if he stays in all 9 inning. Verlander is around 7.5 innings per, so will say 1/12. A batter is involved in 1/9th his teams ab’s, 1/18th of the games he plays, if he play all162. We will way he does. Defense, besides the fact that a pitcher plays a defensive position, they are responsible for slowing down the running game. Verlander has more pickoffs than anyone in baseball since he joined the league.

  5. tim

    I’m a Yankee fan, but Sterling the radio announcer is kinda embarassing.

  6. cp

    Right now, I would say Granderson’s shot at MVP is not clear cut at all. Bautista, in my opinion, has been the better player thus far, with more home runs, a higher average, a better OB plus slugging. He has less of the team-dependent stats (RBIs, runs) because he plays for a lower calibre team than the Yankees.

    Also, saying that Bautista does not play the field like an MVP is ridiculous. He is not a gold glove right fielder, but has a cannon of an arm and is certainly not a defensive liability. The author of this article has not watched many of Bautista’s games saying garbage like that.

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