Brett Gardner

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Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner 2011.jpg
New York Yankees – No. 11
Center fielder / Left fielder
Born: (1983-08-24) August 24, 1983 (age 30)
Holly Hill, South Carolina
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
June 30, 2008 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
(through 2014 season)
Batting average .273
Home runs 24
Runs batted in 179
Hits 527
Stolen bases 163
OBP .352
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Brett Michael Gardner (born August 24, 1983) is an American professional baseball player. An outfielder, Gardner plays in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees. He made his MLB debut with the Yankees in 2008. Gardner, who is 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m), bats and throws left-handed.

College career[edit]

In 2003, Gardner attended walk-on tryouts for the baseball team at the College of Charleston. After the tryouts, Coach John Pawlowski told the players that he would contact them if they made the team. Without hearing a word from the coach, Gardner came to the field the next day for the first official practice, wearing his high school uniform.[citation needed] When Pawlowski asked Gardner why he was there, Gardner told him that he knew he was capable of playing at the Division I level. Pawlowski told Gardner that he could practice with the team, but if at any time if Pawlowski saw that Gardner wasn't capable then he would be let go.[1]

Gardner was a three-year starter for the College of Charleston Cougars. In 2004, he was chosen to the All-Southern Conference Team. His .447 batting average was third in the nation in 2005, and his 122 hits tied for most in the country. His 85 runs in 2005 is the all-time record at College of Charleston, and his 38 stolen bases led the Southern Conference. He wrapped up his collegiate career as a third-team All-American and a second-time All-Southern Conference player. He had a .382 batting average, .456 on-base percentage, and .508 slugging percentage with the Cougars, mostly from the lead-off spot.[citation needed]:)

Professional career[edit]

After his junior year in college he was drafted by the Yankees in the third round in 2005 and received a $210,000 signing bonus.

Minor leagues[edit]

Gardner finished the 2005 season in the New York-Penn League season ranking 5th in at bats (with 282), 2nd in runs (62), and 5th in stolen bases (19). He was a Florida State League all star in 2006, batting .323 in 63 games with 22 RBIs with the Tampa Yankees. He was 3rd in the Florida State League in batting average and led the league in stolen bases with 30. Gardner also was second in the league in walks with 47.[2]

In 2007, he played 54 games for the Double-A Trenton Thunder, though he missed time with a broken bone in his hand. In 203 at bats, he stole 18 bases (tied for 5th in the league; while being caught 4 times), hit 5 triples, and batted .300 with a .392 OBP, before being promoted to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.[3][4] There, in 45 games he batted .260 with a .343 OBP, and stole 21 bases while being caught only 3 times.[5]

In the fall of 2007, he played in 26 games in the Arizona Fall League, leading it in runs (27) and stolen bases (16), while being caught stealing only once. He batted .343 (5th in the league) with a .433 obp (3rd) and was 3rd in the league in walks (17).[6] In 2007, he was the 12th-best prospect in the Yankees minor league system according to Baseball America.[7]

Gardner headed into 2008, according to Baseball America, as the Yankees' fastest minor league runner and the one with the best plate discipline.[8] Playing for Scranton/Wilkes Barre in 2008, in 94 games Gardner was 2nd in the International League with a .414 on-base percentage, 70 walks, and 11 triples, and 6th in the IL with 37 stolen bases, while being caught only 9 times.

Through 2008 in the minor leagues, he had a .291 batting average and a .389 OBP. He had stolen 153 bases, and been caught 31 times, an 83% success rate.[9]

New York Yankees[edit]

2008–2010[edit]

On June 30, 2008, Gardner was called up and made his major league debut,[10] batting lead-off and going 0 for 3 with a stolen base. On July 2, he got both his first hit and first RBI off fellow rookie, Texas Rangers relief pitcher Warner Madrigal, in the seventh inning. Gardner went on to steal second and eventually score in that inning. On July 26, 2008, Gardner was optioned back to AAA after the acquisition of Xavier Nady in order to continue to receive playing time. The Yankees recalled Gardner on August 15 .

On September 21, 2008, Gardner scored the final run of Major League Baseball in Yankee Stadium history as a pinch runner for Jason Giambi, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Cano in the seventh inning of an eventual 7–3 win for the Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles. Gardner finished his rookie season playing 42 games batting .228 with 16 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

Gardner was named the Yankees' starting center fielder for the 2009 season on March 29, 2009, beating out Melky Cabrera for the position.[11] Gardner played 108 games during the 2009 season batting .270 with 3 home runs, 23 RBI, and 26 stolen bases. Gardner was also part of the Yankees postseason run as the team won the World Series for the first time since 2000 by beating the Philadelphia Phillies.

Gardner finished the 2010 season with a .277 batting average and 47 stolen bases in 150 games. He also won the 2010 Fielding Bible Award as the best defensive left fielder in MLB.[12][13]

Gardner's speed gives him exceptional range in the outfield.

On December 7, 2010, Gardner underwent surgery to get rid of inflamed tissue in his wrist, with Yankees GM Brian Cashman supporting that he would be back in time for Spring Training [14]

2011–present[edit]

Gardner started the 2011 season hitting lead off for the Yankees. He struggled in that role and was demoted to the bottom 3rd of the order. However, after Derek Jeter was put on the disabled list for a calf injury, Gardner was returned to the top of the order, alternating with Nick Swisher.[15] Since Jeter's return, and Alex Rodriguez's stint on the DL for knee surgery, Gardner and Jeter have periodically shared the top of the order, with Gardner as lead-off and Jeter batting 2nd.

Gardner finished the 2011 season tied for first in the American League in stolen bases with Coco Crisp, each having 49 stolen bases.[16] Gardner won his second consecutive Fielding Bible Award as the best fielding left fielder in MLB.[17] Gardner played in 159 games batting .259 with 7 home runs and 36 RBI.

Gardner and the Yankees agreed on a $2.8 million contract for the 2012 season, avoiding arbitration.[16] Gardner experienced an elbow injury in 2012 and was expected to return in August. On July 16, Gardner suffered a setback and his chances of missing the entire season increased.[18] On July 24, Gardner underwent right elbow surgery.[19] He was reactivated on September 25, 2012 after Steve Pearce and Justin Thomas were designated for assignment. Gardner only played in 16 games during 2012 batting .323 with 2 stolen bases and 3 RBI.

With Curtis Granderson fracturing his right forearm during a spring training game, Gardner was moved to center field for the 2013 season. On April 14, 2013, Gardner hit his first home run off a lefty since he hit his first grand slam off of Ricky Romero.

On August 11, 2013, Gardner hit his first career walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning off of Detroit Tigers reliever Jose Veras. Consequently, the homer sealed a 5–4 victory for the Yankees, and helped give support to a struggling Mariano Rivera, who blew three consecutive save opportunities for the first time in his career. In the same series against Detroit two days earlier, Gardner made his first bailout of Rivera's pitching mishap by hitting a walk-off single past a diving Miguel Cabrera to give the Yankees a 4–3 win. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Gardner became the first Yankee since Claudell Washington in 1988 to have two walk-off hits in span of three or fewer games.[20]

On February 23, 2014, the Yankees and Gardner agreed to a four-year, $52 million extension to begin in 2015. [21]

Player profile[edit]

Gardner is considered one of the fastest players in Major League Baseball. He is best known for stealing bases and being very disciplined at the plate. He makes contact with 93% of his swings, third best in the American League.[22] In 2010, Gardner saw more pitches per at-bat than any other player in the American League.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Brett and his wife Jessica have 2 sons, Hunter and Miller.[24] Gardner has one older brother. His father, Jerry Gardner, played in the minors for the Phillies.[25] In the off-season, the Gardners reside in Summerville, South Carolina.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Curry, Jack (April 12, 2009). "For College Walk-Ons, a Road Less Traveled Makes All the Difference". The New York Times. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ "BRETT GARDNER PLACED ON DISABLED LIST Retroactive to August 3…" (Press release). "Trenton Thunder". August 6, 2006. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Gardner Promoted To AAA Scranton-Wilkes/Barre". Oursportscentral.com. July 12, 2007. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ Lindert, Brian (July 21, 2007). "Gardner one step away from a dream". Thetandd.com. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ "2007 Player Statistics: Brett Gardner". BaseballAmerica.com. August 24, 1983. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Arizona Fall League: Stats". Minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Our Sports Central.com webpage". Oursportscentral.com. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  8. ^ Hale, Mark (July 8, 2008). "Yankees' Scrappy Rookie Brett Gardner Impresses". NYPOST.com. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  9. ^ Bill Chuck (April 2, 2009). "100 random things about the Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees". The Boston Globe. Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  10. ^ By BRIAN LINDER, T&D Sports Editor (June 29, 2008). "Holly Hill's Brett Gardner called up to New York Yankees". Thetandd.com. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  11. ^ Speedy Gardner Wins Yanks Job SI.com, March 29, 2009
  12. ^ Brett Gardner Statistics and History Baseball-reference.com
  13. ^ "Fielding Bible". Billjamesonline.net. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  14. ^ Gardner on the mend after wrist surgery MLB.com
  15. ^ "AL East preview: Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles". The Seattle Times. March 28, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Novy-Williams, Eben (January 20, 2012). "New York Yankees Sign Stolen-Base Co-Leader Brett Gardner to One-Year Deal". Bloomberg. 
  17. ^ "The 2011 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Brett Gardner suffers another setback". ESPN. 
  19. ^ "Gardner undergoes surgery on right elbow". MLB.com. 
  20. ^ http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9558736
  21. ^ "Brett Gardner, New York Yankees Agree to 4-Year, $52MM Contract Extension". 
  22. ^ "The New York Yankees Are Lucky To Have Brett Gardner". Ladylovespinstripes.com. July 5, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Leaders - AL Pitches Seen per PA | YESNetwork.com: MLB Leaders". Yesnetwork.stats.com. August 6, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  24. ^ Abraham, Peter (November 20, 2008). "Fastest dad in baseball". Yankees.lhblogs.com. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  25. ^ Jack Curry (March 24, 2008). "DiMaggio to Mantle to Williams to ... Gardner?". New York Times. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 

External links[edit]