Granderson thriving at Angel Stadium
Tigers catalyst parlays comfort in field into success at plate
ANAHEIM -- Curtis Granderson consistently calls Comerica Park a challenge defensively in center field, even though he plays half his games there. This, for him, is the flip side.Of all the parks he has played in as a visitor, Angel Stadium is one of his favorites, if not at the top. It isn't a particularly memorable play, or a team moment, or certainly much Tigers success here, although he's had plenty as a hitter. It's the comfort level. It starts with an easy backdrop against which to see fly balls. But it's about more than that. "For running, the turf is great," Granderson said. "It's like being on turf, but not as hard. It's extremely fast to move around. The ball's going to bounce around on the ground, but it really doesn't take bad hops for the most part. I know the infielders, they say it's hard for them, but for me I know if it's coming through, it's going to stay down for the most part. And it's not that big. Center field right behind me is right at 400 [feet]." The result is a ballpark Granderson seems to enjoy, both in the field and at the plate. His .370 career average at Angel Stadium is by far his highest of any American League ballpark he visits. Eleven of his 27 hits here have gone for extra bases, including seven home runs. He had three homers during a 7-for-12 series here over three games in April. For comparison's sake, he has as many homers in 18 games here as he has in 35 games at U.S. Cellular Field in his hometown of Chicago, or 37 games at the Metrodome. The only visiting park where he has more homers is Kauffman Stadium, where he has eight. That'll make any player feel comfortable. "I don't necessarily find myself tracking the ball best here or [seeing] my number of putouts being extremely high here, or amazing plays," Granderson said. "It's just a matter of with everything else, you seem to see pretty well."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.