The New York Yankees Youth Movement Is Revitalizing Brett Gardner 2
May 5, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (right) celebrates his three-run home run with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Just when New York Yankees fans assumed the youth movement would take over, Brett Gardner has proven he’s not going down without a fight.

The New York Yankees are in a rebuilding year. That means the young prospects are ready to push aside the gritty veterans.

Right now, the Yankees are on top of the world and the American League East. And part of their recent surge has to do with Brett Gardner.

Wait…it does? Aaron Judge is the one pummeling the ball and driving in the runs. Aaron Hicks is the one consistently getting hits. Brett Gardner is just along for the ride, occasionally contributing to the cause.

That’s where you’re incredibly wrong. A big reason for the Yankees success this year has to do with the veterans on the squad, especially Gardner. He is fighting for his life and that extra motivation is propelling him to success.

Starting out his season with a .188 batting average and no home runs, he has stepped up his game. In the last six games, Gardner is batting .400 with five home runs.

Gardner is seeing the focus shift towards the young guys on the team and he knows that his position is in jeopardy. Why do you think he started showing an incredible bout of emotion after striking out against the Toronto Blue Jays?

He is well aware of the youth movement that is making its way in the Bronx. He’s gotten a taste of what the future looks like and he knows his tenure as the Yankees starting left fielder is coming to a close if he doesn’t perform.

Gardner has always been a competitor, a warrior. That’s why the Yankees have stuck with him despite some lackluster seasons at the plate. With pressure coming from younger prospects, he knows it’s time to step up.

The youth movement is the main focus. Right now, Gardner is not. He has to prove that he still belongs on the field in the Bronx or his time will be up. That’s exactly what he’s been doing and it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

He single-handedly propelled the Yankees to victory in yesterday’s game in Chicago. He crushed two home runs in the Yankees rout of the Baltimore Orioles. He got on base and made things happen. Gardner has stepped up when the world was ready to write him off.

Clint Frazier is raking on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders. Hicks has been on fire at the plate and in the field. The need for Brett Gardner in the outfield has diminished when you look at what’s coming in the future.

However, Gardner isn’t having it. He is ready to go out there and prove that age is only a number.

Gardner is 33 years old. Fans are ready to shove him aside in favor of the younger, hotter prospects who are fun. At one point, Gardner did the same thing to his predecessors.

This season is his last-ditch effort at remaining in pinstripes. But right now, he’s making it hard for the Yankees to even consider letting him go. He’s having fun and wearing his heart on his sleeve, taking each game to heart.

He may not be the flashy youngster he once was but he is motivated and determined to prove himself. He’s done it for years and now, more than ever, he is fighting for his life. And he’s doing it with a child-like joy.

Brett Gardner has given the Yankees much to think about. The youth movement is great but the wins are coming from Gardner right now. And that dedication and determination is something that deserves a lot more attention by fans.

Allison is just a girl with an enormous passion for the game of baseball and the written word. Based in Upstate New York, her life-long relationship with the New York Yankees is something that she developed through close relationships with her mother and grandfather. An aspiring sports writer, she graduated with a journalism degree and is finding places to share her excitement about the sporting world and how it affects us all.