• Brett Gardner In 2008?

    Posted by on November 13th, 2007 · Comments (9)

    I’ve been tracking Brett Gardner since the Yankees drafted him. Presently, in the Winter Arizona Fall League, Brett’s batting .333/.414/.375 in 23 games.

    You know, everyone raves about the Red Sox’ Jacoby Ellsbury. Check out the minor league stats for Ellsbury (in red) and Gardner (in blue) below:

    GardnerVsEllsbury.jpg

    Ellsbury has shown a tad more pop at the higher minor league levels – but, it’s not like he’s leaps and bounds better than Gardner. Maybe Brett Gardner can be a spark for the Yankees in 2008 the way that Jacoby Ellsbury was in 2007 for the Red Sox?

    The question is: Where would Gardner play in the Bronx? Between Damon, Melky, Abreu and Matsui, the outfield is crowded. Like the “injury” to Manny Ramirez in Boston this year, that opened the door for Ellsbury, Gardner is going to need something to happen in New York to get a shot next year.

    If he gets a chance, it will be interesting to see if he takes it and runs with it.

    Comments on Brett Gardner In 2008?

    1. MJ
      November 13th, 2007 | 1:41 pm

      Looking only at the stats where they played in the same league (A-, AA, AAA), I’d have to say that Ellsbury showed more than just a “tad” more pop.

      Ellsbury OPS (A-): .850
      Gardner OPS (A-): .753

      Ellsbury OPS (2006 AA): .821
      Gardner OPS (2006 AA): .670
      Ellsbury OPS (2007 AA): 1.162
      Gardner OPS (2007 AA): .811

      Ellsbury OPS (2007 AAA): .740
      Gardner OPS (2007 AAA): .674

      Some of the numbers are skewed based on sample-size but at no point does Gardner come within .060 of Ellsbury.

      This isn’t to say that Ellsbury’s going to be some big star. But from the looks of it, Gardner doesn’t look that great in comparison.

    2. baileywalk
      November 13th, 2007 | 1:59 pm

      It’s funny. People are kissing Ellsbury’s ass NOW, since he showed up in the big leagues and played fantastically, but before that a lot of the minor-league “experts” didn’t like his game at all. Keith Law was particularly hard on him.

      I don’t know if Gardner is an everyday player or not, but I wish there was a way to get him onto the team. I think he’s one of those semi-useless backup-type players — a la Shelley Duncan — who can really help bolster a team from the bench. And by just having him around, you give him the opportunity to show what he has.

    3. MJ
      November 13th, 2007 | 2:07 pm

      I’m all for finding out about our young players, even if they end up getting exposed as not good enough. If we hadn’t stuck Robbie in there in 2005, we never would’ve seen him do the things he’s done in the second half of 2006 and 2007. Ditto Melky.

      So if Gardner comes up and stinks, so be it. At least we’ll know. All I was saying was that from the looks of it (unscientifically, even) he doesn’t look like he’s much of a prospect with the bat.

    4. baileywalk
      November 13th, 2007 | 2:25 pm

      That “people are kissing his ass NOW” comment wasn’t directed at you, MJ. It was toward the baseball people who now think Ellsbury is God’s gift.

      I actually agree with you on Gardner. Steve has a bit of a man-crush on him — he’s been talking about getting him up here for a while. I think more likely he’s a fourth outfielder with blazing speed who could come off the bench and steal a base at will. He doesn’t have a great arm, but Gardner is supposed to be an above-average fielder. So a fourth outfield with good range and awesome speed can be helpful for a team on the bench.

      They should see what he has in a backup role because, as you said, and as cruel as it might seem, if he fails, so what? It doesn’t set the Yankees back any.

    5. jakes
      November 13th, 2007 | 2:27 pm

      –It’s funny. People are kissing Ellsbury’s ass NOW, since he showed up in the big leagues and played fantastically–

      How is that funny? You come up to the bigs and kick ass and people kiss your ass. That’s the way it works. If next year his stats fall back, gasp, they’ll be more critical.

      I mean, so you think people should say “ellsbury’s doing great, but he wasn’t that great in the minors”.

      You have a bizarre way of thinking.

    6. MJ
      November 13th, 2007 | 2:33 pm

      Bailey – I know it wasn’t directed at me. I remember reading some of Keith Law’s chats about Ellsbury in the early part of the summer.

      And I agree; Steve has a mini man-crush on him and Alberto Gonzalez! :-)

      Jakes – I still don’t get why you hang out on Yankee blogs?

      Also, did Ellsbury really “come up to the bigs and kick ass” as you say? Let’s wait and see on that one.

    7. TurnTwo
      November 13th, 2007 | 2:56 pm

      if Melky or Matsui gets traded, I’d give Gardner the CF job to lose in spring training, if he doesnt come to play, send him down to work it out, and put Damon in CF to start the season.

      it sounds like he’s your prototypical leadoff guy, with some serious speed. to me, he seems like a guy who can fit right into the aggressive nature that Girardi wants to play with.

    8. November 13th, 2007 | 3:39 pm

      i also would like to see Gardner at some point in 08. but really, it would be more beneficial for him to play everyday in Scranton until a hole opens rather than be the 5th OFer. ‘hole’ includes injuries, trades and general suckitude.

    9. butchie22
      November 13th, 2007 | 6:24 pm

      How is that funny? You come up to the bigs and kick ass and people kiss your ass. That’s the way it works. If next year his stats fall back, gasp, they’ll be more critical.Quote
      Fact is Ellsbury got it done in the post season,that cannot be taken away from him.Is he a Shane Spencer type whose glory is fleeting or a mainstay?Who knows,but he did a great job this year and deserves props for it.As for Gardner,There could be use for a fifth outfielder this season so he could get his chance to be this year’s Ellsbury or Melky part 2!Remember that in the first half of 2007,the Yank’s bench was mediocre,Cash changed that situation and with someone like Gardner it could even change for the better.

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