AL East Positional Rankings: Young Stars Push Gardner at Left Field

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13: Trey Mancini
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13: Trey Mancini /
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Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner /

1. New York Yankees – Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks

Gardner started over 110 games in left field in 2017, but also saw some time in center field, opening things up for Frazier and Hicks to see some starts.

Gardner’s slash numbers were very close to his averages. He hit .264/.350/.428 (career averages of .264/.347/.393) with 21 home runs, 26 doubles, 96 runs scored, 63 runs batted in and 23 stolen bases in 151 games total.

A strong 1.6 defensive WAR and a 2.8 offensive WAR combined to give Gardner a strong 4.9 overall WAR in 2017. He did not make any errors, and his sabermetrics were all well above average, even if his range was slightly below average for the 33-year-old.

Frazier had a decent year in his first appearance in the major leagues, while Hicks was a revelation for the Yankees and played very well, finally living up to some of his hype.

As for the future, 2018 could be Gardner’s last in pinstripes. He has a team option in 2019, and if the Yankees decide to go with Frazier in left field, 2018 could be his last. However, I would imagine as long as Gardner has a similar season in 2018, he will be a Yankee again in 2019 as well.

Next: Orioles Interested in Pitcher Tyler Chatwood

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