Brett Gardner’s power a nice surprise for the Yankees

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It’s not surprising Brett Gardner has one of the best averages on the team, it’s not surprising Brett Gardner leads the team in OBP and it’s not surprising he’s been one of the most clutch performers on the team.

However, this number is surprising: 13. 13 represents the number of home runs Brett Gardner has hit this season and we’re ending July. Gardner’s previous career high was eight. Joe Girardi is impressed with Gardner’s recent power surge, but he isn’t surprised by it.

“I think players have it, but I think they learn how to use it better,” Girardi said. “He’s playing every day, physically he feels good. He’s been able to stay away from some of the nagging stuff he’s had before. And some years guys just get more pitches to hit out of the ballpark. But I’ve always felt that he could hit double digits.”

Girardi’s theory on Gardner playing so well might have to do with Gardner no longer playing to impress other teams in a potential “walk year”. The four-year, $52 Million contract extension seemed to have relaxed Gardner, allowing him to play to the best of his ability.

“Probably,” Girardi said. “I think some players, it really helps because it helps them relax a little bit and just be who they are and not try to do too much. Other guys go the other way, but I think it helped him.”

Brett Gardner is aware he is probably worth more in the trade market, but Gardner decided to take less money to play for the team that he knows and loves. Being a Yankee means something to him, and he’s extremely thankful for the opportunity.

“For me, it was a matter of making the decision obviously based on numbers and what I was comfortable with,” he said. “But also a big part of my decision was I felt like by signing that contract it gave me the best chance to stay in New York and hopefully finish my career in New York. I felt like signing the contract gave me the best opportunity to do that.”

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4 Responses to Brett Gardner’s power a nice surprise for the Yankees

  1. Robert Rufa says:

    I don't know about other fans, but it means a lot to me when a player like Gardner is willing to play for less money in order to play for a team he loves. I've liked him from the very moment he put on pinstripes, and it's great that he's finally coming into his own in every category. He clearly has the power to hit the long ball, and yet the discipline to avoid striking out too often, as sluggers often do. If NY had a few more Gardners, they'd be in first place.

    • olie says:

      Robert , I agree with you about seeing a player want to stay with his team even if it means taking less. Gardner is putting together a nice season at the plate and in the field! The only problem I have with him is his strikeouts!
      With 385 at bats this year he has already struck-out 95 times (25%). But I suspect if he keeps hitting homers no one will complain!

  2. tom says:

    Too bad, Gardner does not make up the loss of the lineup's heart portion. lol.

    I would love to see him to repeat this feat each season of next 3 years.

  3. Balt Yank says:

    I totally agree with Rufa. I was stoked to see Gardner from day one, and enjoyed his energy and speed. I hope he keeps it up because he is surpassing expectations.