Gardner was a walk-on and three-year starter at the College of Charleston (CoC). In 2004, he was a Southern Conference All Star. His .447 batting average was third in the nation in 2005, and his 122 hits tied for the most hits in the country. His 85 runs in 2005 is the all-time record at CoC, and his 38 stolen bases led the Southern Conference. He wrapped up his Cougar career as a third team All-American and Southern Conference all-star, sporting a .382/.456/.508 career line, mostly from the lead-off spot.
He was drafted in the 3rd round in 2005 by the Yankees after his junior year, and received a $210,000 bonus.
He was a Florida State League all star in 2006, batting .323 in 63 games with 22 RBI with the Tampa Yankees. He was 3rd in the Florida State League in batting average, and led the league in stolen bases with 30. Gardner also was second in the league in walks with 47.
In 2007, he played 54 games for the Double-A Trenton Thunder, though he missed time with a broken bone in his hand. In 203 at bats, he stole 18 bases (tied for 5th in the league; while being caught 4 times), hit 5 triples, and batted .300 with a .392 OBP, before being promoted to Scranton/Wilkes Barre. There, in 45 games he batted .260 with a .343 OBP, and stole 21 bases while being caught only 3 times.
Through 2007 in the minor leagues, he has a .288 batting average, .381 obp, and .374 slugging percentage. He has stolen 114 bases, and been caught 22 times.
In the fall of 2007, he played in 26 games in the Arizona Fall League, leading it runs (27) and in stolen bases with 16, while being caught only once. He batted .343 (5th in the league) with a .433 obp (3rd), and was 3rd in the league in walks (17).
On June 30, 2008, Gardner was called up and made his major league debut, batting lead-off and going 0 for 3 with a stolen base. On July 2, he got both his first hit and RBI off fellow rookie, Texas Rangers relief pitcher Warner Madrigal, in the seventh inning. Gardner went on to steal second and eventually score in that inning. On July 6, 2008, Gardner started in left field in place of the injured Johnny Damon. In that game, he went 2 for 5, including a two-out, game-winning single up the middle off of Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Gardner's legs are his strength. He's the fastest baserunner in the organization, has 80 speed on a 20-80 scale, and has solid baserunning instincts. He's adept at picking spots, knowing when it's more valuable to the team for him to use the threat of a stolen base to get the pitcher to throw fastballs to the heart of the order.
He has outstanding plate discipline, draws a good number of walks, and uses the whole field while making consistent, hard contact. Baseball America rated him as having the best strike zone discipline in the Yankees minor league system after the close of the 2006 season.
His speed and excellent sense in the outfield translate to an outstanding defensive game, among the best in the Yankee farm system. His arm is average, though fairly accurate.
- ↑ http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3505797
- ↑ Trenton Thunder - PressReleases
- ↑ BaseballAmerica.com: 2007 Player Statistics: Brett Gardner
- ↑ Arizona Fall League: Stats: Stats
- ↑ Holly Hill's Brett Gardner called up to New York Yankees
- ↑ Baseball America - Top 10 Prospects: New York Yankees
- ↑ On the Yankees beat
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Prospect Profile
- Profile 12/29/06
- "Gardner makes fast impression in camp; Prospect pleases teammates, rattles pitchers with speed," 3/1/07
- "Gardner Promoted To AAA Scranton-Wilkes/Barre," 7/12/07
- "Gardner one step away from a dream," 7/21/07