At this point in New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner’s career, he is best utilized as a rotational player that can provide rest to the every-day starters. The only issue for the Bombers is – they don’t have a better option in left field…yet.
Gardner has been a cornerstone piece for the Yanks in the outfield since 2008, but his reign is quickly coming to an end with youth product, Clint Frazier returning from devastating migraines. Spring training began this past week, and players like Frazier, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, and Gleyber Torres took the field to fit in some defensive reps and batting practice.
Frazier will need to regain his professional form during spring training:
Frazier is not in full-form after missing a majority of 2018. The likely scenario is that Gardner starts the season in left field while Frazier works his way back into the player he was expected to be. The 24-year-old is not yet a proven player, but the optimismÂ surrounding him should see him earn a significantÂ portion of playing time in the season ahead.
The 2017Â Baseball Prospectus’ No. 16 prospect worked in the outfield tracking fly balls along the warning track and smacked eight homers of the left field fence in 35 swings, according to Yanksgoyard.com.
â€œItâ€™s an exciting feeling,â€ the 24-year-old New York Yankees outfielder said Wednesday. â€œIâ€™m ready to get out there. I wish games started tomorrow. Itâ€™s been a long road. Iâ€™m just happy to be here and ready to go out there and make up for the time that Iâ€™ve lost.â€
In 48 games in Triple-A last season, Frazier slashed .311/.389/.574 with 38 runs scored, 14 doubles, three triples, 10 homers, and 21 RBIs. Impressive numbers from the youngster and it should indicate a big bounce back.
Brett Gardner’s role on the New York Yankees in 2019:
Gardner, on the other hand, has probably accepted the fact that he will be the acting veteran leader in the locker room and provide experience and reserve quality behind the normal starters. In a potential World Series caliber season, the Yankees need a player like Gardner, but $7.5 million is a hefty sum for his current value.