Last season, Brett Gardner won his first Gold Glove at the left field position.
But despite Gardner’s successful 2016 campaign, scouts believe Gardner looks better this season, and that he could be on pace for another successful year.
“His body looks livelier. He’s always been a tough kid and he looks like he’s healthy. He’s one of those guys who get banged up and still play,’’ A Major League scout said just a day after Gardner threw out Jorge Soler at second base. “He looks stronger and there is a lot more life to his body. He is a center fielder playing left field. He still has center-fielder speed.’’
Once Gardner heard the scouts opinion on how he played this year, he was pleased. However, he doesn’t think there’s much of a difference between the way he’s played this year and last year.
“Maybe a little bit. I feel I’m playing well and covering ground,’’ Gardner said.
Not only did Gardner play well defensively, he’s also been a force to be reckoned with at the plate. Despite being 1-for-7 against lefty Jason Vargas, Joe Girardi started Gardner over Jacoby Ellsbury, who was 2-for-10. In the end, Girardi was rewarded with two hits including a RBI triple from Gardner.
Girardi already confirmed Gardner won’t start on Thursday against Danny Duffy, but it’s no secret Girardi and the Yankees have been extremely pleased with how Gardner has played this season. And they hope the issue of having four very successful outfielders continues to be a problem as the year goes on.