Brett Gardner is one to watch for

RAB on The Shore Sports Report
Open Thread: Tape delayed

Over at ESPN’s new and entertaining (but poorly named) The Max Info blog, Yankee fan and RAB reader Katie Sharp named leftfield favorite Brett Gardner the Yankees’ player to watch for the 2010 season (Insider req’d). She points out that Gardner had by far the best speed score (9.2, a metric developed by Bill James that considers things like stolen base percentages, triples, etc) of any batter with at least 250 plate appearances last season, and that his 16% infield hit rate was tied for Ichiro as the best in the business. As soon as he improves his bunting, I’m hopeful that number will go up even more.

I don’t think Gardner’s quite as good defensively as his small sample UZR suggest, but he’s obviously very good. If he can work his way into being a non-zero offensive player out of the nine-hole, then I’ll take it every day of the week.

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RAB on The Shore Sports Report
Open Thread: Tape delayed
  • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

    Does Ms. Sharp have a handle?

    Please tell me its not Bo.

    • JGS

      Jake, actually

  • pete

    “I don’t think Gardner’s quite as good defensively as his small sample UZR suggest, but he’s obviously very good. If he can work his way into being a non-zero offensive player out of the nine-hole, then I’ll take it every day of the week.”

    coming around on gardner are we mike?

    • radnom

      Allow me to answer that as a fellow Gardner-doubter.

      No one ever said he has to do all much with the bat to be a useful player. Let’s just see him do it first. I think there is a fair chance that Winn gets a good chunk of at bats next season.

    • http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/mlb.alex.rodriguez.through.the.years/images/1993.alex-rodriguez.jpg Drew

      I think he’s just saying what many of us have been saying. We know Gardy is above average out there in center. However, citing his UZR as fact is silly.

      • radnom

        The worst is when people throw in his UZR/150, which distorts the small sample size even further.

  • Anthony Murillo

    I think Gardner is going to lose the LF job to Winn, honestly.

    • Zack

      Well that’s the luxury of Winn, he’s a proven vet who Girardi can put in if Gardner struggles. I’m sure he will at some point during the same, not every player is good all year long, but I think Gardner will end up with more ABs than Winn, because if his defense is elite I’m willing to let him go through a rough patch in order to see how he reacts with the bat when he struggles.

    • mustang

      I second that.

  • Brian

    Hey guys i’m new here,

    Brett Gardner is my cousin in law, we were reading this article here in florida as well. He’s pumped!

    BTW I can get you a picture of him holding up an RAB sign lol if no one believes me.

    • Johan Iz My Brohan

      “BTW I can get you a picture of him holding up an RAB sign lol if no one believes me.”

      You are now obligated to do so.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Agreed. I believe him, but I want to see the picture either way.

        • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

          Yes. The chance to get a pic of a Yankee with a RAB sign is not something to pass up.

        • Salty Buggah

          +1

          I believe him too but I still want a Gardy/RAB pic

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            I want JMK to see the pic. His head will explode.

            • Salty Buggah

              Can we also get a pic in which JMK’s head explodes?

              • king of fruitless hypotheticals

                if he gets the pic, it has to go on the website…Grit, not JMK, although that would be kind of cool too!

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

                  Wouldn’t make much difference. I wear a burqa at all times so as to not upset the women and children with my freakishly large eyelashes.

                • king of fruitless hypotheticals

                  while i disbelieve the burka, for some reason…yes, i believe you have freakishly long eyelashes…i bet you looked cute in that bikini.

                  /EWWW’d!!!

    • ledavidisrael

      I don’t believe you unless he is also holding todays newspaper.

      • mustang

        What is this the mob?

        LOL

    • Thomas

      The picture is going to be this one http://mlb.mlb.com/images/2009/05/07/6nIBC72H.jpg (safe), but with a piece of paper with the words RAB photoshopped over the baby’s head.

      BTW Brett Gardner’s wife, your cousin, is absolutely gorgeous.

      • Tom Swift

        Another reason to root for the guy.

      • Mariano’s Pimp Hand

        LOL, the kid in the pic looks like a Brett Gardner bobblehead doll.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

      Cousins from a small town in South Carolina, you say? The urge not to make some sort of joke is physically paining me.

      Hey, if you get a chance to chat with him, pass along this advice for me: until he can at least bench press the bar, stop upper-cutting everything.

    • dalelama

      Brian, please tell him to learn to drag bunt.

      • Mariano’s Pimp Hand

        I watch Gardner bunt in Tampa last weekend. He must have bunted 30 balls – all towards 3rd base.

  • J.R.

    I think it’s interesting that everyone is lauding the moves of the sox and mariners for increasing their defense, but then those same people talk shit about the yankees having gardner as their everyday LF.

    • Salty Buggah

      I remember when all of the haters were saying how Swish is only a 4th OF last year. Even in August they were expecting him to regress as he’s that good of a player in their opinion.

      Like Swish, I hope Gardy proves people wrong.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      I think the only people that have a problem with Garder as the starting LF are Yankees fans. The MSM loves him because he’s gritty and scrappy, and the Sabermatricians acknowledge that he is likely a great defensive OF, and while his hitting will suck, in this lineup it won’t really matter.

      • WIlliam

        Okay, his hitting wont suck. I will be slightly above average, probably something like 275/335/400. It will be by far the worst in the lineup, but his stolen base crown should make up for it offensively.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          I’d be thrilled with that line over 400+ AB’s. Combine that with his defense and you’re looking at a pretty valuable player.

        • Big Juan

          On what do you base your claim that Gardner will slug .400? In 375 MLB AB’s, he has slugged .352.

          Yea, that’s an SSS, but his SLG was .383 in 1467 career MiLB AB. Though, he did slug .422 with AAA SWB in ’08, and was over .400 in ’06 and ’07 prior to being promoted (A+-AA in ’06; AA-AAA in ’07).

          I just want to know if you had rationale behind that line or if it was more of a shoot from the hip thing.

          • WIlliam

            It was more of a shoot from the hip, I was just trying to say that gardner will not suck at the plate, as may assume.

            • Dirty Pena: The Triple Entendre

              Not a bad premise. I could see a ~.730 OPS, probably more of a .350-355ish OBP, .375-380ish SLG though.

              • dkidd

                i wonder who holds the single-season record for their obp being higher than slg percentage?

                eddie stanky?
                wee willie keeler?

                • dkidd

                  just looked up wee willie on b/r

                  he was more a slugger than i expected

            • Big Juan

              That’s what I thought. I’m not trying to be all smart and stuff. I just wanted to know if there was something different you were basing it on.

  • dkidd

    if brett gardner earns 400 at-bats this year, and it’s not a result of c-grand or swish getting hurt, we’re in good shape

    • J.R.

      If Winn gets 400+ AB’s this season, then we know something terrible has happened.

      • dkidd

        or cervelli

        • J.R.

          I think if posada went down again with a serious injury aka 08, that the yankees would make a trade much sooner.

          They witnessed what happened having Molina over exposed did.

          • bexarama

            Did you hear Molina said something like “Posada is the reason I’m not a Yankee any more”? Yeah, it’s not like we had homegrown options that would replace your, um, offensive production while being very good defensive catchers.

            • J.R.

              Yeah, I saw that article. But I think that Posada was a little butt hurt that he didn’t catch A.J. in the playoffs.

              But you are right that Cervelli can easily replicate Molina’s offensive production.

              • bexarama

                Oh Posada was TOTALLY unnecessarily butthurt about it, but it was dumb of Molina to say that. It’s not like Posada is some mafioso that controls Cashman (OR IS HE????).

          • dkidd

            anyone but pudge (unless pudge fisk comes out of retirement)

  • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

    Over at ESPN’s new and entertaining (but poorly named) The Max Info blog

    Excuse me but that name worked out pretty well for the hangout populated by Zach Morris and the gang.

  • alison

    Brett and the picture with his wife is a joke. He cheats on her all the time, including with a friend of mine!