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Granderson’s Strange Season

Posted by Raphy on May 24, 2011

Curtis Granderson is having a loud, but strange season. Currently, Granderson is second in the AL in both HRs (with 16) and triples (with 4), yet has amassed a measly 4 doubles. In fact, Granderson's doubles only account for 1/6 of his extra base hits. While it is still early, it is interesting to note that for an entire season this is an uncommon feat. Here are the players with the most XBH in a season with at most 1/6 of them doubles.

Rk Player XBH 2B Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Mark McGwire 33 4 2001 37 STL NL 97 364 299 48 56 0 29 64 56 3 118 3 0 6 7 0 0 .187 .316 .492 .808 *3
2 Wes Covington 33 4 1957 25 MLN NL 96 371 328 51 93 8 21 65 29 7 44 2 5 7 5 4 1 .284 .339 .537 .875 *7
3 Curtis Granderson 24 4 2011 30 NYY AL 46 196 173 35 45 4 16 34 20 0 45 0 2 1 5 5 1 .260 .335 .607 .942 *8
4 Eddie Robinson 17 1 1955 34 NYY AL 88 215 173 25 36 0 16 42 36 7 26 5 0 1 7 0 0 .208 .358 .491 .849 *3
5 Gates Brown 16 2 1971 32 DET AL 82 218 195 37 66 3 11 29 21 2 17 2 0 0 4 4 2 .338 .408 .549 .957 *7
6 Walt Dropo 15 2 1957 34 CHW AL 93 244 223 24 57 0 13 49 16 2 40 0 1 4 10 0 1 .256 .300 .439 .740 *3
7 Oyster Burns 15 2 1884 19 TOT ML 37 149 138 34 40 7 6 23 8 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 .290 .342 .536 .879 *94/615
8 Rick Monday 14 1 1981 35 LAD NL 66 156 130 24 41 2 11 25 24 3 42 1 0 1 0 1 2 .315 .423 .608 1.031 *9/7
9 Ed Bailey 14 2 1954 23 CIN NL 73 222 183 21 36 3 9 20 35 0 34 0 3 1 2 1 0 .197 .324 .388 .712 *2
10 Jouett Meekin 14 2 1894 27 NYG NL 53 183 174 28 48 7 5 29 8 0 16 0 1 0 0 3 0 .276 .308 .454 .762 *1
11 John Bass 14 1 1871 23 CLE NA 22 92 89 18 27 10 3 18 3 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .303 .326 .640 .967 *6/2
12 Roger Cedeno 13 2 2000 25 HOU NL 74 305 259 54 73 5 6 26 43 0 47 0 2 1 6 25 11 .282 .383 .398 .781 879
13 Franklin Stubbs 13 2 1984 23 LAD NL 87 245 217 22 42 3 8 17 24 3 63 0 3 1 0 2 2 .194 .273 .341 .614 *39/78
14 George Crowe 13 2 1956 35 CIN NL 77 157 144 22 36 1 10 23 11 1 28 2 0 0 1 0 0 .250 .312 .486 .798 3
15 Billy Ashley 12 2 1996 25 LAD NL 71 133 110 18 22 1 9 25 21 1 44 1 0 1 3 0 0 .200 .331 .482 .813 *7
16 Oscar Gamble 12 2 1984 34 NYY AL 54 151 125 17 23 0 10 27 25 0 18 0 0 1 1 1 0 .184 .318 .440 .758 *D9
17 Kirk Gibson 12 2 1980 23 DET AL 51 189 175 23 46 1 9 16 10 0 45 1 1 2 0 4 7 .263 .303 .440 .743 *8/D
18 Bob Thurman 12 2 1955 38 CIN NL 82 170 152 19 33 3 7 22 17 2 26 0 1 0 6 0 2 .217 .296 .408 .704 7
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2011.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 5:57 pm and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

31 Responses to “Granderson’s Strange Season”

  1. More proof Granderson is using.

  2. I had Oyster Burns once. Nasty. But the doctor gave me an ointment and they got better.

  3. Interesting to note that the most games played on that list for an "entire season" is 97, by a very mobile-challenged Mark McGwire in his last season. Still, it's a pretty interesting factoid. I wonder how it will play out for Granderson, especially if he plays a true full season.

  4. Worldtour Says:

    Here's a question for you - I wonder if PI could help answer it.

    Yunel Escobar hit cleanup for Toronto yesterday, and he's leading off today. How often has a leadoff man batted cleanup the next night or vice versa?

  5. @3
    Good point. How much does the "1/6" need to be loosened before full seasons start showing up? 1/5? 1/4?

    Doing some hunting and pecking, Killebrew had 11 doubles out of 61 XBH in 1964. That was 158 G and 682 PA. So he just missed the cutoff.

  6. Dave Kingman, 1982, qualified for the batting title (607 PA) and had 9 doubles out of 47 XBH. Not quite as impressive as Killebrew 1964, but in the same ballpark, as it were.

  7. @5

    Here is the 1/5 list counting only players since 1901 that qualified for the batting title:

    Rk Player XBH 2B Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
    1 Roger Maris 81 16 1961 26 NYY AL 161 698 590 132 159 4 61 141 94 0 67 7 0 7 16 0 0 .269 .372 .620 .993 *98
    2 Harmon Killebrew 61 11 1964 28 MIN AL 158 682 577 95 156 1 49 111 93 5 135 8 0 4 15 0 0 .270 .377 .548 .924 *7/9
    3 Dave Kingman 47 9 1982 33 NYM NL 149 607 535 80 109 1 37 99 59 9 156 4 3 6 11 4 0 .204 .285 .432 .717 *3
    4 Curtis Granderson 24 4 2011 30 NYY AL 46 196 173 35 45 4 16 34 20 0 45 0 2 1 5 5 1 .260 .335 .607 .942 *8
    5 Zip Collins 8 1 1916 24 BSN NL 93 296 268 39 56 6 1 18 18 0 42 1 9 0 0 4 0 .209 .261 .269 .530 897
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 5/24/2011.
  8. Dr. Doom Says:

    Dang it, Raphy! I was just going to say that the first season I thought of was the Maris season, and I assumed that was the top one. Well, good to see I was right, I guess!

  9. John Autin Says:

    Mantle '61 just missed the 1/5 list -- 16 doubles, 6 triples, 54 HRs.

    For 1960-62 combined, Mantle had 48 doubles, 13 triples and 124 HRs, doubles comprising 27% of his extra-base hits and just 11% of his total hits.

    Mantle hit 37 doubles in his first full season, but never topped 28 after that.

  10. Raphy, so what is the bottom line of the list? Massive doubles are a necessary component of a power hitter's arsenal? Granderson's season is remarkable even without doubles.

    The most significant part of your original list is the small number of PA. The second list, when PA are expanded has more meaning and it is greatly reduced.

    Is there any such thing as a "extra base hit" swing, excluding HR?

    If so, I submit George Brett had the best of such a swing. Perhaps Cecil Cooper?

  11. John Autin Says:

    How about that Jouett Meekin (#10 on the first list)?
    Maybe 5 HRs, 7 triples and 2 doubles don't sound so great, especially in 1894.
    On the other hand, Meekin was a pitcher -- and he went 33-9 in over 400 IP, placing 2nd in the NL in overall WAR (10.9) and ranking among the pitching leaders in almost everything.

    BTW, the 1894 WAR leader was Meekin's HOF teammate, Amos Rusie, who went 36-13.

  12. Yankee Stadium does depress doubles, while increasing HRs from lefty hitters, so perhaps that's contributing to this formula.

  13. @10
    I don't think there's a meaning to it. Its very "strange" because double's are often "almost-homers" so guys who hit homers tend to hit a lot of doubles.

    Some of the guys like Killebrew and McGwire were famously slow... so if they didn't hit the ball out of the park they'd have trouble making it to second base on a fair ball. The other ones are just "strange" and its fun to find those seasons.

  14. @12 - Amazingly enough Granderson's XBH home/away numbers were identical.

    Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
    Home 28 27 112 100 15 24 2 2 8 17 5 0 9 27 .240 .300 .540 .840 54 3 0 2 1 0 1 .242 78 128
    Away 18 18 84 73 20 21 2 2 8 17 0 1 11 18 .288 .381 .699 1.080 51 2 0 0 0 0 0 .277 129 206
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 5/24/2011.
  15. John Autin Says:

    BTW, when I saw the headline "Granderson's Strange Season," I thought of two things:

    (1) Granderson has hit an equal number of HRs on the road as at home, with a significantly higher rate on the road (all his stats have been much better away); and

    (2) He's hit an equal number of HRs vs. lefties and righties, which of course gives him an insane HR rate against lefties -- 8 HRs in 48 AB (with 3 singles and 1 triple). Before this year, Granderson was so bad against southpaws that he really should have been a platoon player. Even with this year's HR barrage, his career OPS vs. LHP is just .648, with a .217 BA and .276 OBP (compared to an .890 OPS, .285 BA and .362 OBP against righties).

  16. @13
    DavidRF, to be honest, I never thought about speed (or lack of it) as being a factor in who is on Raphy's list.

    But where does that leave Curtis? He has decent speed but few doubles.

  17. @15, JA, his numbers against lefties is the main difference I see in Granderson now. He was horrible up until August last year, where now he's hitting HRs at a greater rate than he does against righties. Credit to whatever the Yankees' hitting coach did with Granderson's swing last August. In that way, there is a similarity to Bautista. The hitting coach in Toronto changed Bautista's swing the September prior. I'm always a bit questioning on how much hitting coaches can help MLB hitters, figuring these guys have already learned whatever they can. Apparently not so in these two cases.

  18. @16
    I said the other ones are just strange. :-)

  19. Here are the single season records for ...

    Most HR without a 2B or 3B: 6 (George Ruth BSN 1935, Swats Sawatski STL 1963, Duke Sims CLE 1965, Earl Wilson BOS 1965, Larry Hisle MIL1980, Luis Medina CLE 1988, Carlos Zambrano CHC 2006)

    Most 3B without a 2B or HR: 5 (George Twombly CIN 1914)

    Most 2B without a 3B or HR: 29 (Jimmy Collins BOS and PHA 1907)

    Most PA without an XBH: 184 (Jack O'Connor SLB 1906)

  20. I think it's just a matter of time before he hits 4 doubles in a week and is completely removed from this discussion.

  21. He doesn't show up on this list because he didn't hit very much during the season (being a pitcher), but Earl Wilson is the king of not hitting doubles as his extra base hits. He has the most XBHs in a season without any 2Bs (9 - 7 HRs and 2 3Bs in 1966) AND the second most XBHs in a season without any 2Bs (8 - 7 HRs and 1 3B in 1968). John Mayberry also had 8 XBHs in 1971 without any 2Bs (also 7 HRs and 1 3B).

    What sets Wilson apart is that he is the only player who hit 10+ doubles in his career who had less than 25% of his XBHs as doubles. For his career he hit 12 2Bs, 6 3Bs, and 35 HR, so that just under 23% of his XBHs were 2Bs. I don't know what that means but it seems related to the thread.

    If you expand the percentage to 30% you pick up Bob Thurman and Wayne Belardi, both of whom batted less than Wilson in their careers despite being position players, but also McGwire (who is just under 30% - 29.964%).

  22. @20, I just checking the boxscore from tonight's Yankee-Blue Jay game and I see Granderson collected four hits, one of which was a double, so perhaps we should check back next week. You might be right.

  23. John Autin Says:

    @22, MikeD -- Interesting that Granderson had 4 hits tonight but no HRs. In his 12 games of 4+ hits (including 2 5-hit games), he has just 2 HRs. Granderson's career ratio of hits to HRs is 6 to 1, but in his 4-hit games it's 25 to 1.

    By contrast, in his 308 games with exactly 1 hit, he has 53 HRs -- virtually the same as his career ratio.

    His rate of doubles is also lower in his 4-hit games, with 6 doubles out of 50 hits, or 12%. His career rate is 17%. In 308 1-hit games, he has 50 doubles.

    But perhaps I'm overthinking this....

  24. @23, John Autin, not sure if it's overthinking, but I wonder if it's too small of a sample size to have meaning. Perhaps a compare group might be interesting. And by that, I mean how do players perform overall in 4-hit games? Before you mentioned Granderson's numbers, I would have guessed that hitters' HR and doubles would come in at a higher percentage, not lower!

  25. I saw that Josh Wilson was released yesterday and noticed something interesting about him. He had 14 BBs and 12 HBPs. It's very rare for a hitter to have a nearly 1:1 ratio for walks to hit by pitches.

  26. @23, John Autin, not sure if it's overthinking, but I wonder if it's too small of a sample size to have meaning

  27. mccombe35 Says:

    Thought Frank Thomas '05 or '06 would be up here for sure.

    Just missed.

  28. I think part of it is that Granderson was kind of underrated playing in Detroit from 06-09. He was a heck of a player in '07-08. He essentially had the same season in '07 as NL MVP Jimmy Rollins.

    From '06-09, Granderson had a 18.2 WAR good for 15th overall in the majors.

    From '07-08, Granderson ranked 11th in WAR with a 11.5.

  29. Granderson's 2007 with Tigers was incredible, a 4x20 guy. But then his difficulties vs. lefties worsened - which paved the way for trade to Yanks. YS is perfect for Curtis from a power perspective. The lack of doubles is confusing considering he can still hit those triples - and maybe that's part of it; other guys would stop at second while he steams around to third.

    FWIW - Johnny Damon had some inflated homer totals also with YS as his home ballpark, but they went down at Comerica Park. If it were configured like YS, he might still be in a Tiger uniform.

  30. Yankees are far and away #1 in homers.
    And they are dead last in doubles.

  31. @20 and @22, since Raphy posted this yesterday, Curtis Granderson has hit three doubles in five PAs. My guess is he's not even on the list anymore!

    @29, you're right, YS is good for Granderson from a HR perspective, although not from an overall power perspective. He has the perfect swing for the park, but Yankee Stadium does decrease doubles and triples. What the short porch in right gives, it takes away in other ways, which may be contributing to his lower doubles on some level. Overall, though, he was hitting better away from Yankee Stadium, but that should normalize over the course of the season.