Who Should Be The Centerfielder: Gardner Or Granderson?
When Brett Gardner first came up to the big leagues, his primary position was center-field. He played it well in the 2009 run for the World Series even though his role was part-time. In 2010 that all changed when Curtis Granderson came into the picture. Granderson previously was on the Tigers before the Yankees exchanged him for Austin Jackson. Gardner was shifted into left field while Granderson stood in center. But after observing Gardner & Granderson for quite some time, Yankees fans wondered who would be a better CF: Gardner or Granderson?
While both players have been fantastic to the Yankees, it’s hard to choose which one is a better centerfielder. Offense-wise, Curtis Granderson has more power and is able to hit HR’s oppose to Gardner and his “Gardnerian swing” which puts him on base to steal. Granderson’s fast, but Gardner’s faster and in the outfield Gardner is a full force out there. Let’s compare Brett Gardner & Curtis Granderson’s defensive numbers shall we?
There’s no doubt about it, Brett Gardner is special. He’s a good hitter, excellent base-stealer and provides Gold Glove defense. Gardner’s career in CF spans over 4 seasons beginning in 2008. In his career in CF, Gardner has been in 176 games, starting in 123 of them. In 1143.1 innings, Gardner has had 345 put-outs, a remarkable 2 errors & 10 assists. Gardner’s career fielding percentage in CF is .994, which is very impressive. Gardner’s range factor per-game is 2.02 while his range factor in 9 innings is 2.79.
Now let’s compare Curtis Granderson:
2. Curtis Granderson:
Curtis Granderson is the Yankees starting CF, and an excellent one at that. After the Kevin Long adjustment, the Curtis Granderson trade worked out wonders for them, and why wouldn’t it? Granderson’s career in CF is a longer one than Gardner’s, since Granderson had an earlier start than Brett Gardner. Here’s Granderson’s defensive numbers. In 8 seasons, Granderson has played in 913 games, starting in 852 of them. In 7690.1 innings, Granderson had 2293 put-outs, 18 errors & 36 assists. Granderson’s fielding percentage in CF is .992, which is also impressive. Granderson’s range factor per-game is 2.55 while his range factor in 9 innings is 2.73.
Looking at the numbers you can see that’s it’s very hard to compare Gardner & Granderson on the field, but if I were the one who chose who played centerfield, I would choose Gardner for this reason. Brett Gardner finds a direct route to the baseball every time, which makes it easier to make catches while Granderson “zig-zags” to get to the route of the baseball, thus taking him more time to find it and less time to react. It’s not an easy decision on who should be the CF, as both men are equally talented.
So who do you think should be CF for the Yankees? Gardner or Granderson? Be sure to leave your comments in the box below.