The more Brett Gardner continues to impress this season (spring training), the more he will pencil himself in as the opening day starter in center field.
With his improved bat and his running, which has been marked as the fastest on the Yankees, and among the fastest in the majors, Gardner will be an asset, whether it’s in the lineup or on the bench.
Consider this, that Gardner only hit three home runs last year and batted .228. Now in only 21 at-bats, he’s hit three home runs and is batting .381. This is more like what he is capable of, not what he appeared last year.
Gardner hit .447 in his last season at the College of Charleston, then the Yankees chose him in the third round in 2005.
He’s exciting to watch. I’d appreciate Melky Cabrera’s arm, but he has not shown much of an offense, especially after a year where he was demoted and benched. I’d take my off season seriously and condition myself to the point where I know I will excel. Either Melky’s washed up or he’s still a late bloomer.
Yesterday, after Gardner’s home run, his next at-bat? A successful bunt which he beat out.
Now that’s a smart player who can multi-task. I’d call him my starting centerfielder anyday.