Curtis Granderson is playing with fire. Here’s why: his strikeouts are in average killer territory of a Ryan Howard or an Adam Dunn. Right now, Granderson has been maintaining his batting average with a high BABIP. Can he get his strikeouts in check? Perhaps, but his walk rate actually declined from ’06 to ’07. Not the makings of someone learning to be more patient. Now, his runs were high, but as discussed here, runs are the least of your worries when evaluating hitters. So if I can put on my Nostradamus hat, I’ll say Granderson is more or less the player he was this year, but maybe a few more homers and a bit less average, giving him: 115/27/85/.280/25. There’s a chance Leyland moves him out of the leadoff position, but that’s doubtful. If he does, give him more RBIs and less runs. Those are good numbers. But with the Ks, his average could be .260 over 600 at-bats and absolutely hurt your team. In 2008, Granderson will be drafted way before he should. Know someone who won’t bat .260?
His predicted numbers are 100/27/115/.300/20. And guess what? That’s not a ceiling. If he can put together a full productive season, Markakis can easily reach 35 homers. Thus far, that’s been the catch with Markakis. He’s had an okay first half and then turned it on in the second half. So his very solid ’06 numbers are from another stellar second half. But what about the team around him, you ask. Yes, his team may not be as strong offensively, but Markakis is a better offensive player. Tejada, if he stays with the Orioles, should be healthy all year, after a fluke injury this year, and he will make Markakis’s numbers better. When drafting you want the better overall player, you want the player that has better natural skills, you want Nick Markakis.