NY Yankees: Brett Gardner Deserves a Shot at The Lead-Off Spot

Chris JennerCorrespondent IMay 15, 2010

NEW YORK - MAY 05:  Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees stands on third against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on May 5, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Brett Gardner is having a great season at the plate.

He currently ranks 8th in the American league in batting average at .333, and 2nd in stolen bases with 16, while being caught stealing only once.  His On Base percentage is good enough for 4th in the AL, at .411, and he ranks 2nd in runs, with 28.  He has also drawn 14 walks.

Gardner has done all this from the number 9 spot.

A change in the Yankees lineup that would shift Short Stop Derek Jeter, who is currently batting lead-off, to the number two hole, could benefit the Yankees at this point.  Jeter is only batting .273 at lead-off, and giving Garnder the extra at bat per game could prove to be a benefit based on his current play.  This would also allow Jeter to have more chances to bat with a runner on base, something he has been very good at over his career.

Gardner's lighning quick feet, good eye, and patience at the plate are the qualities of a Major League lead-off hitter, and so far Gardner has shown the type of play that warrants this switch.

Will the Yankees give the chance to their budding young outfielder, or are they content to let his play go unrewarded and keep him at the bottom of the order?

Only time will tell.

*Brett Gardner has just stolen his 17th base as I write this.