I've been giving Brett Gardner
praise since the day this blog started, and it's certainly not going to stop now with the way he's playing. I had some time to kill so I decided to do some number crunching, calculating the BA-OBP-SLG-OPS since the start of 2004 through today for each outfielder drafted before Gardner in the 2005 draft:
High schoolers Cameron Maybin (1/10/DET), Andrew McCutchen (1/11/PIT), Jay Bruce (1/12/CIN), Colby Rasmus (1/28/STL), John Drennen (1/33/CLE) and Jordan Schafer (1/107/ATL) were not included because high school stats are just too hard to find, plus they're skewed as each of this guys probably hit close to .700 with a 2.000 slugging percentage or something ridiculous like that.
So of all the guys drafted before him, none has had a higher BA or OBP since the start of 2004, and only 3 guys have a higher OPS over that span. Gardner's best tool is his speed - which we all know can't be taught and doesn't go into a slump - which ensures he'll at least have a shot each and every year of posting high BA's. He should be hitting the Bronx in about 14 months, and I for one can't wait to see him play in person.