The other thing Gardner does especially well is make contact, which he did on just over 90% of all of his swings. This ability to either foul off a lot of tough pitches and extend a lot of at bats probably increased his walk total a bit, and the ability to put balls in play allowed him to use his speed to maximum effectiveness.
The question about Gardner now is his ability to sustain this, and there’s already some evidence that that’s not going to happen. In the second half of 2010, Gardner hit just .232/.364/.330 which, while still perfectly tolerable for a 9th hitter with Gardner’s speed and defensive skills, is obviously not as impressive as his overall season line. And indeed, Gardner’s skill set isn’t one that you would necessarily imagine maintaining a .383 OBP and .358 wOBA. It’s very possible that 2010 will wind up being a career best season for Gardner.
Because of that, I expect the Yankees will be vigorously shopping Gardner this offseason.…