Former New York Yankee and now Met Curtis Granderson will now be reunited with the coach that changed his career.
Longtime hitting coach Kevin Long was fired from the Yankees in October after eight seasons.
In 2011 and 2012, Granderson had the two best seasons of his career and he owed a lot of the success to his hitting coach.
He worked with Long to change his swing and it resulted in a resurgence of Granderson’s career.
The outfielder hit more than 40 homeruns in his second and third year under Long.
In Granderson’s fourth and final season with the Yankees, he was plagued by injuries, only allowing him to play 61 games. It was the first time since 2005 that he played in less than 140 games.
After being traded to the Mets in 2014, Granderson carried over Long’s teachings. The hitting coach showed him a net drill that Granderson continued to use with the Mets.
There is definitely a connection between Granderson and the Mets’ hiring Long. The organization could hope bringing in the hitting coach that revived Granderson’s career could do the same for the entire Mets’ lineup.
Last season, Granderson hit 20 homeruns in 155 games. That number used to be the average in his early days in Detroit, but under the mentorship of Long, the Mets hope to crank those numbers back up to 30 or 40 homers.
The new Mets’ hitting coach already spotted where Granderson’s issues were in 2014. Long said his hands were moving during at-bats and were in a weak position. The duo spent the offseason practicing near the coach’s home in Arizona.
Long spent a lot of the offseason watching tape on his new lineup and got a head start working with third-baseman David Wright.
If Long can do for Wright what he did for Granderson it will say a lot about how good he is at what he does. The Mets’ third baseman has been on a downward spiral offensively especially in the homerun category.
One thing that could be pivotal for the Mets’ offense is the new dimensions of Citi Field where the organization moved in its right-center and right field fences. The Mets moved the right-center field wall in 10-feet closer so it’s now 380-feet from home plate and the right field wall is five feet closer and is now 370-feet from the plate.
When Granderson had his 40 homerun seasons for the Yankees his homefield was a hitter’s park. Yankee Stadium’s right field wall is extremely short at 314-feet and its’ right-center field wall is only 385-feet from home plate.
Granderson hits dominantly to the right side so moving in the right field wall could increase his homerun total by at least 10.
The change in the size of right field could also move Granderson to the opposite corner possibly making him the Mets’ left fielder; however, nothing is certain yet.