Will Brett Gardner Hold Fantasy Value In 2010?

With Johnny Damon heading out of town, it appears that the Yankees are primed to hand an outfield job to Brett Gardner.  Does he have the potential to be a viable fantasy option?  It’s doubtful, but let’s take a look:

2009 Statistics:
248 At Bats
.270 Batting Average (67 Hits)
3 Home Runs
23 RBI
48 Runs
26 Stolen Bases
.345 On Base Percentage
.379 Slugging Percentage
.312 Batting Average on Balls in Play

What You Need To Know:

  • In 1,467 career minor league at bats, he had just 55 doubles, 28 triples and 9 home runs.  That led to a slugging percentage of just .383 and the potential for much power, even in the new Yankees Stadium, is minimal.
  • He’s likely to bat ninth, meaning, even in that loaded lineup, he’s not likely to drive in many runs.
  • He could score his fair share, with Derek Jeter, Nick Johnson and company hitting atop the order, but he needs to do a significantly better job of getting on base for that to happen.  He struck out nearly 20% of the time in his minor league career, a number that isn’t suitable for a slap hitter.
  • The speed is unquestioned, but again, he is going to need to get on base more to have a huge impact there.  He stole 56 bases between Single & Double-A in ’06 and 50 bases between Triple-A and the Majors in ’08.  Keep your fingers crossed, but those lofty numbers are not likely to be repeated.
  • He does a good job of putting the ball on the ground to utilize his speed, with a 55.0% groundball rate over his minor league career.  That certainly will help his average, but with the strikeouts likely (I’m projecting him for a 23% strikeout rate), it’s not likely he’s usable there.
  • The presence of Randy Winn will certainly cut into his playing time, especially if he gets off to a slow start.

2010 Projection:
.260 (130-500), 4 HR, 35 RBI, 75 R, 35 SB, .331 BABIP, .345 OBP, .356 SLG

Final Thoughts:
While the stolen bases are nice, the rest of the line basically renders him unusable.  I’d much rather take a flyer on Drew Stubbs or Dexter Fowler, who have the potential to help you out in other categories.  He’s best left for those in the deepest of formats.

What are your thoughts on Gardner?  Can he prove usable in 2010?  What type of production are you expecting?

If you would like to see a free preview of the Rotoprofessor 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (available for just $5), click here.

Make sure to check out some of our 2010 projections, including:

2 comments

  1. Aaron says:

    He won’t get enough starts unless he puts up big numbers as a platoon hitter so he is undraftable. If he does start to prove himself and get more playing time and putting up solid numbers he is someone you can pick up on waivers a month or two into the season.

  2. Frank Kim says:

    He could get 50 SB’s which would make him quite helpful but only if he plays everyday. And right now even if he is the starter I doubt he plays everyday.

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