After a solid 2015 season, Curtis Granderson has struggled to produce this year for the Mets. Through 465 plate appearances, Granderson is batting .226/.318/.423 with 18 homeruns and he has a .741 OPS.
While his 97 OPS + is around the league average, his struggles are far more pronounced when taking a closer look. With runners in scoring position, Granderson is batting .130 has a .402 OPS.
Furthermore, his woeful .208 OPS with two outs and runners in scoring position is the worst in all of baseball. This failure to come through in the clutch is why he has only has 31 RBI despite hitting 18 homeruns even with him batting mostly first or second.
Consider this, in 2014 and 2015, Granderson was getting an RBI per 8.5 and 8.3 at-bats respectively. This season, his AB/RBI is at 13.1, the second worst mark in his career. He’s also walking less, seeing his walk rate dip from 13.3 to 10.1.
While all these numbers are concerning, they are also uncharacteristic for Granderson, so maybe there’s hope he can reverse most of these trends.
Last year, Granderson was perhaps the team’s unsung hero as he blasted ten homeruns and had a .886 OPS down the stretch in August and September. He then followed that up with three homeruns, 12 RBI and .866 OPS in 64 plate appearances in the postseason.
That’s the Curtis Granderson the Mets need right now, but so far he’s not yet showing any signs of breaking out. He’s batting .186/.252/.309 in 102 plate appearances in the second half, and hitting just .163 in the month of August.
If this slump continues, he’s in danger of losing playing time, especially when Yoenis Cespedes returns from the disabled list next weekend.
Perhaps at the age of 35, Granderson’s skills have declined. But it was just one season ago when he led the Mets with a 5.1 bWAR, and given his strong track record of success I’m not ready to write him off.
With the Mets offense still looking to find some consistency, they need Granderson to come through and play at the same performance level we are accustomed to seeing. Granderson has shown throughout his career that he is capable of being a major difference maker, and that’s exactly what the Mets can use right now.