Mid-Season Report Card: Brett Gardner
2017 has been somewhat of a strange season so far for the longest tenured Yankee. After a year in which he hit just seven home runs, but also won his first career Gold Glove, it was difficult to know what to expect from Brett Gardner. However, the Yankees would not be where they are right now without him as he has turned in yet another solid season so far. Plus, who could forget his dramatic two strike, two out, three-run homer to propel the Yankees over Cubs in the beginning of May?
|Photo via Patrick Gorski of Icon Sportswire|
First Half Performance:
Through most of April, the majority of the baseball world thought Gardy’s career was on a major downward spiral, and I don’t blame them. I wrote an article stating that the Yankees should bench Gardner in favor of Aaron Hicks, after all. Some fans didn’t approve, but, come on, his batting line in April was just .205/.318/.329, with two homers, four RBIs, 12 walks, and 22 strikeouts. Both the homers and all four of the RBIs came on April 28th, the second to last game of the month. Before that game he was hitting .188/.316/.234. That’s flat out bad.
Never fear though! Gardy turned it around with a monster May, where he hit .327/.400/.673 with nine homers, 21 RBIs, six doubles, and 12 walks. 11 homers through the first two months! At this point, his season batting line was at .276/.365/.529. Gardy looked like a potential All-Star. However, June came and kind of put a damper on that idea. June overall hasn’t been kind to the Yankees, but Gardner sank back down to almost April levels of hitting. As of this writing, he’s hitting .222/.286/.343 in June, with three homers and nine RBIs. His signature moment of June came on the 23rd, when he hit a game tying homer in the ninth off of Rangers closer Matt Bush. For the most part though, Gardner has averaged out to a very Gardner-like season.
Expectations for the Second Half:
It’s difficult to tell just what Gardner might do in the second half of the season. If he keeps up his on and off month streak, it will be very fun to watch him in July. However, I do believe that there is at least a chance the Yankees trade Gardner at the trade deadline (especially if they continue to play as badly as they have recently). If I had to guess, I’d say he’s wearing a Yankees jersey in August, but you never know. Overall though, I would expect pretty much the same from Gardner. Maybe a .260/.340/.400 batting line? He should eclipse his career high of 17 home runs at some point, so that’s something to look forward to.
As of right now, 2017 looks like just another typical Brett Gardner season. He’s hitting for a bit more power, as evidenced by his 14 homers, but for the most part he looks the same. He’s going to continue to sit atop the Yankees lineup, get on base a good amount, and play above average defense in left field. With all the uncertainty surrounding the Yankees regarding injuries and young players, sign me up for that.
Article by: Alex Weir