July 25, 2011

And you thought Curtis Granderson was having a good season

There’s no doubt about it: Curtis Granderson has been this season’s biggest surprise bat for the Yankees. But measuring by WAR, wins above replacement, he’s not even the best center fielder in the game today.

That honor goes to Jacoby Ellsbury, who boasts a 5.3 WAR compared to Granderson’s 4.8. Ellsbury only trails teammate Dustin Pedroia (5.7) and Jose Bautista (7.0) for the league lead in WAR.

For those who have doubts or are unfamiliar with WAR, it’s worth noting the Red Sox are the only team to have more than one hitter with a WAR in baseball’s top 10. And they have three, Adrian Gonzalez (4.7) being the third.

The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn sparked the idea for this article after posting one of his own this morning. Below is a quick comparison of Ellsbury and Granderson based on more commonly used statistics (leaders italicized).

Jacoby Ellsbury 16 58 74 31 .320 .893 5.3
Curtis Granderson 27 74 88 19 .265 .926 4.8
Surprisingly, Finn only makes reference to left fielder Brett Gardner, neglecting Granderson, in his article. He does, however, revive some of the greatest seasons in baseball history in comparison to Ellsbury’s projections. Definitely worth a look.

Done yet? Now that you’ve seen all the numbers and had time to deliberate, take your pick: Jacoby or Grandy? Or … Gardy?

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