Curtis Granderson believes he's "so-so" at the plate right now, still trying to get himself right. Not that you would know by looking at his power numbers.
The center fielder continues to flex the power he's shown since the second half of the 2010 season as he belted his eighth homer in the Yankees' 6-2 win over the Tigers Sunday. Granderson is hitting homers at a faster pace than when he hit a career-high 41 last year.
"Whenever things go right, that's one of the results of it, and it's just a matter of can I get it right consistently and sometimes have the potential to drive the baseball," Granderson said. "There's been a lot of times that I've had an opportunity to put a good swing on and fouling it off or swinging right through it and that's the big thing I'm trying to work on right now."
On a team with sluggers like Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and even Robinson Cano having 30-home run potential, it's the center fielder that has emerged as the team's power bat. Counting last season and this year, Granderson has hit seven more home runs than each of his teammates, and has 20 more than Cano and 29 more than Rodriguez.
Sunday, he nearly was robbed of his eighth homer. In the fourth, he hit it where the Yankees' bullpen and the right-field seats meet, but Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson snagged the ball, only for it to fall out of his glove. Jackson hit his arm on the webbing separating the seats and the bullpen as he tried to bring it back. Granderson had two RBIs on the day.
"I heard the crowd make the noise they did, I knew that something had good happened, I just didn't know what side," Granderson said.
Granderson is batting .272 on the year with a .385 on-base percentage and tied for the team lead in slugging percentage. He's working with hitting coach Kevin Long on his timing.
"That's one of the things I've been battling with all spring and through the season, but it's part of it, it's April. You're either going to be a little bit too quick or a little bit too late," Granderson said. "You're just trying to find your groove and get up there against guys and try to understand what their approach is trying to get you out. All those different things are happening right now. We're trying to take each day, day by day, and put yourself in a position to swing at strikes and hit strikes. As long as you can do that, a lot of good things will happen."