The MLB All-Star Game is merely weeks away and the New York Yankees should have a strong presence there this summer. Derek Jeter will be there in this his final season; the rookie phenom Masahiro Tanaka is making a case to start the game for the American League; Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira might find their way there as injury replacements; but the player that no one is talking about is also the best Yankee this season: Brett Gardner.
Gardner is making a strong case to make his first All-Star Game. Gardner has always been a great role player for the Yankees throughout his entire career. A career .270/.352/.387 hitter, Gardner has smashed these numbers this season currently hitting .288/.361/.424 through 78 games and 336 plate appearances. His average is good enough to lead the team (among qualifiers), another stat that he leads the team in is runs (48), he also is fourth on the team in RBI (30), and second in stolen bases (15); in addition, his homerun numbers this season are on pace to surpass his career high for a single season.
To further his legitimacy as an All-Star, his advanced statistics show that his basic numbers are no fluke. Gardner’s batting average of ball in play (BABIP) is .353, first on the Yankees for team regulars. In addition, Gardner’s weighted on base average (wOBA) is above average at .349 and only behind teammate Teixeira for first. Finally, his weighted runs created (wRC+) is excellent 119 and also second behind Teixeira. All of these stats combined are what gives him a WAR of 2.5 and a true All-Star candidate.