Blazing Brett Gardner Is a Key To The Success Of The Yankees

Micheal RobinsonSenior Analyst IIApril 24, 2010

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees runs from first to third in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Two of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium on October 29, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

He isn't Rickey Henderson, but he will steal you blind if you let him.

Brett Gardner is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with on the New York Yankees roster.

Gardner, a small guy from a small town in South Carolina, has a huge heart, and legs built for a cheetah.  The guy just looks fast when he is standing still.

He was a stand out player in his three year career at the College Of Charleston.  In 2004, he was chosen to the All-Southern Conference Team.  In 2005, he carried a .447 batting average that ranked fourth in the entire nation. 

Arguably, he is one of the fastest players in the game today, if not the fastest.

On May 15, 2009, in his second career Major League home run, and first in Yankee Stadium, he did it in style with an inside the park home run against the Twins. It took Gardner only 14 seconds to go around the bases, a total distance of 360 feet.

With the departure of Melky Cabrera and Johnny Damon, the door opened for Gardner to become a starter on the 2010 Yankees squad.

As of April 24 of this year, for his career, he has stolen 48 bases and only been caught seven times.  Not to mention, that the only time he was caught this year, Nick Johnson missed a hit and run and struck out swinging as Gardner was barely nabbed at second. 

He has stole nine bases in just 15 games this season.  At that rate, he would steal around 96 bases if he played the full season as a starter.

Not known for his power, Gardner continues to impress at the plate with his infield hits and on the base paths as a runner.

This season, on April 17, Gardner had three infield hits in a 7-3 victory over the Rangers.  He became the first Yankee to do so since Don Mattingly in 1992.  On a side note, I am not sure how Don Mattingly had three infield hits in one game.

Regardless if you think number eleven is irrelavant in the success of the Yankees this season, I honestly feel that he can be a huge threat and a key factor of the outcome of many games this season.

He is already hitting .340 after 15 games this season, with 12 runs scored.  If he gets on base, there is a good chance he will make it around to score.