Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest » Blog Archive » Brett Gardner vs. Carl Crawford

Brett Gardner vs. Carl Crawford

By Mike Silva ~ November 2nd, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees, Statistical Analysis.

There has been some talk amongst the fan base about the Yankees trading Brett Gardner to open up leftfield for Tampa free agent left fielder Carl Crawford.

Gardner led the majors in UZR and UZR/150 this season. The voting for the 2010 edition of the Fielding Bible Awards was announced yesterday, and he took home the top spot among all leftfielders. Some believe he may be the fastest player in baseball as well. At 26 years of age could he be about to blossom into another version of Crawford?  No doubt Crawford is a better than Gardner at this point in his career, but after his fine 2010 season you have to give Gardner his due.

Through age 26 Crawford was a league average offensive outfielder, averaged about 10 homers, 62 RBI, 42 stolen bases, and a .764 OPS.

This was Gardner’s line in his first full season as a starter at age 26:

2010 26 150 569 477 97 132 20 7 5 47 47 9 79 101 .277 .383 .379 .762 106
3 Seasons 300 994 852 163 228 31 15 8 86 86 15 113 171 .268 .358 .367 .726 93
162 Game Avg. 162 537 460 88 123 17 8 4 46 46 8 61 92 .268 .358 .367 .726 93
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/2/2010.

Not that much different. He also doesn’t hit LHP poorly (.725 OPS).

I believe the Yankees should go all out to sign Cliff Lee if they have the resources, but Crawford over Gardner might just be big name window dressing. I don’t believe Gardner will ever hit for the power of Crawford, but you need him more for his defense and speed. Outside of the power numbers they are very comparable. The Yankees need someone at the top of the order in the coming years because, quite simply, Derek Jeter can’t provide top of the order offense at this point in his career.

Remember, Gardner’s defense made him the most valuable Yankee next to Robinson Cano in terms of Wins Above Replacement. To boot, he is only making 425k. It’s also too early in his career to assume he can’t get better offensively.

Keep Gardner and let someone else give Crawford big money.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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6 Responses to Brett Gardner vs. Carl Crawford

  1. Ben Vinutti

    “Keep Gardner and let someone else give Crawford big money.”

    AGREED 100%

  2. mke jahns

    You cant possibly compare gardner to crawford only thing they have in common is speed If you dont agree sign werth instead he better than both outfield is a power postion not slap an run.

  3. dude

    gardner is not half the player crawford is. the only place gardner comes close to crawford is speed and i’d still take crawford anyday.

    whoever gets crawford will get a legit 5 tool player and teammate.

  4. Kris

    Hey dude, you are completely wrong and you should re-learn baseball.

    Brett Gardner is a much more efficient base-runner as he can steal just as many, yet not get caught as often. CC get’s caught way too often and will always go early in the count.

    Gardner is the best defensive LF in the game, he just won the Bill James award. CC is an average defensive OF with a weak, inaccurate arm, while Gardner has average strength, very good accuracy, and get’s very good jumps on balls, something CC sucks at. CC uses his speed to get to balls, whereas Gardner uses his instincts AND speed.

    The Yankees need a lead-off hitter. In a lead-off hitter, BA doesn’t mean anything, OBP does. Gardner is a very good OBP guy and Crawford sucks at it. Gardner also led the league in pitches seen per plate appearance.

    You know nothing my friend.

  5. mke jahns

    theres three players yankees need dunn dh werth Lf lee #2pitcher
    that would set them up for years

  6. isaac

    i think the yankees should keep brett and get lee and curtis in center and swisher in right because werth is not good him self or trade granderson and put jeter in center and get a shorstop for granderson so it should be like this swisher jeter brett outfield infield should be arod roby cano mark and someone at short

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