NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Consider Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson a big fan of Derek Jeter.

“He’s one of the best players ever,” Granderson told the New York Daily News. “It’s amazing that his down year is most people’s good year or normal year.”

The Yankees’ shortstop is trying to bounce back after hitting .270, 44 points below his career average.

“But he’s been so good for so long that it looked like it wasn’t that great, but it was good,” Granderson said. “He was our catalyst at the top of our lineup.”

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Jeter’s defense has also come under scrutiny in recent seasons. Granderson says the captain still has it at shortstop.

“Defensively, he was excellent for us. When people said he didn’t have the range – I mean, he made some excellent plays in the hole, both behind second base and on the third base side.”

Jeter has been working out on-field for almost a month — his normal offseason routine — at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

“That leadership side of it, that you can’t replace because of his experience, is always a key,” said Granderson. “That and his ability to forget, I think he’s going to be great.”

Will Jeter bounce back, or are we witnessing the decline of an all-time great? Sound off in the comments below!

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

pixy Yankees Granderson: Expect Good Year From Jeter

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