MLB’s 25 Most Improved Players Prospects for 2016 Momentum

#9. Curtis Granderson, New York Mets

2015 WAR: 5.1
2014 WAR: 1.2
WAR Improvement: 3.9

As a general rule of thumb, it’s usually not a good idea to bet on an outfielder who will celebrate his 35th birthday just before the start of the season. In this case, the soon-to-be 35-year-old Curtis Granderson had posted at least 5.1 WAR in a single year before, but not since logging 5.7 WAR in 2011 and 7.6 WAR in 2007.

Making his showing for the New York Mets feel even more unsustainable is the fact that he’d accumulated just 5.4 total WAR in the three seasons that came just before his 2015 exploits.

Granderson is always at risk for injuries (he was fighting through a torn ligament in his left thumb during the World Series), and he’ll never stop racking up the strikeouts. His power also isn’t what it was during his prime though he’s making up for that with a better eye and more discipline working the count.

When he’s healthy and in the lineup, he’s a strong enough offensive player to remain valuable. However, it’s tough to imagine him suiting up at least 150 times in three consecutive seasons for the first time in his 12-year career, and his defense likely won’t get better with age.

Granderson can still be a positive commodity in the Big Apple. He just likely won’t break past the five-WAR barrier for the second year in a row.