Gardner Getting More Aggressive In Arizona

Brett Gardner has gotten off to a hot start in the Arizona Fall League, hitting a robust .385 through his first nine games. While he admits to being quite comfortable in his second tour of duty in the prospect-laden league, he credits his hot hitting with a new aggressive approach at the plate.

"No I'm not really surprised," Brett Gardner said of his early Arizona Fall League success. "I don't want to sound cocky or anything like that but I expected to get off to a good start once I got out here [to Arizona].

"One of the good things about coming out here is I was out here last year so I don't have to go through that learning curve like last year, kind of like when I got called up to Triple-A. Things like that, it's always easier the second time around."

More comfortable in familiar surroundings is only part of the equation however. Prior to venturing out west, Gardner and the Yankee hitting coaches began implementing a brand new approach at the plate.

"I went down to Tampa for six or seven days before I came out here and we worked on a few things with my swing," he revealed. "I left there with a lot of confidence at the plate. I felt really good coming out here. Everything so far is going good and I've been swinging the bat pretty well.

"Obviously something is more comfortable if you've done something before and I definitely think that's an advantage to being out here, but I wouldn't say that's the only reason I feel comfortable.

"I feel more comfortable and more confident at the plate than I ever have and I think that's got a lot to do with being more aggressive and having confidence in myself and my swing that I can get the job done early in the count."

Known as an extremely patient hitter willing to take a lot of pitches and work himself deep into counts throughout his career, the Yankees have him working on taking a few less pitches and taking more aggressive swings earlier in the count.

"I was fortunate enough when I was in Tampa to work with [former hitting coordinator] Gary Denbo right before he left us," said the 24-year old. "We talked for a while and one of the main things he wanted me to work on was just to be more aggressive, not necessarily aggressive like stupid aggressive and just swinging to be swinging, but when I get a good pitch just turn it loose instead of taking it and getting behind in the count.

"Granted taking pitches and things like that - I feel I've got a pretty good eye at the plate - I get some walks that way, but as I continue to move up and face these better pitchers that's going to lead to more strikeouts. Guys up there have better secondary stuff.

"A lot of times, as I learned moving up to Triple-A, you only get one good pitch to hit per at-bat and I know that's how it is in the big leagues. I can't be quite as patient and be quite as picky at the plate anymore because I'm going to face more pitchers who throw more strikes, I mean they've got three or four pitches they can throw for strikes instead of one or two that I was seeing in high-A and Double-A.

"For the most, being more aggressive and when I get a good pitch to hit, go ahead and swing at it and swing at it with more authority, show them I'm going up there ready to hit and not necessarily to take a strike every at-bat, that's what I'm doing."

One of the reasons for foregoing the extreme patient approach, and changing from swinging from a defensive stance to a more aggressive one, is to help improve his power production.

"I don't want to say I'm trying to hit for more power," he admitted. "I don't know exactly how many at-bats I've got but I've had one triple so it doesn't show it [the power], but I've been hitting the ball the best for the past two weeks than I ever have, and harder than I ever have.

"I just haven't really gotten it beyond anybody. I haven't really gotten under anything and I've lined out a bunch. I'm really pleased with the way things have been going. Maybe the doubles, triples, and occasional home run will come in time."

While he waits for the power to show more in the box scores out in Arizona, his new approach at the plate has helped off to a hot start and he says it is an approach that he will continue to employ from this point forward.

"I don't necessarily always have to hit with two strikes with my back up against the wall," said Gardner. "I think that's very important because these last two weeks have been the first time I've ever done that in my career on a consistent basis, day in and day out."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"No I'm not really surprised,\" Brett Gardner said of his early Arizona Fall League success. \"I don't want to sound cocky or anything like that but I expected to get off to a good start once I got out here [to Arizona].
\r\n
\r\n\"One of the good things about coming out here is I was out here last year so I don't have to go through that learning curve like last year, kind of like when I got called up to Triple-A. Things like that, it's always easier the second time around.\"
\r\n
\r\nMore comfortable in familiar surroundings is only part of the equation however. Prior to venturing out west, Gardner and the Yankee hitting coaches began implementing a brand new approach at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"I went down to Tampa for six or seven days before I came out here and we worked on a few things with my swing,\" he revealed. \"I left there with a lot of confidence at the plate. I felt really good coming out here. Everything so far is going good and I've been swinging the bat pretty well.
\r\n
\r\n\"Obviously something is more comfortable if you've done something before and I definitely think that's an advantage to being out here, but I wouldn't say that's the only reason I feel comfortable.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel more comfortable and more confident at the plate than I ever have and I think that's got a lot to do with being more aggressive and having confidence in myself and my swing that I can get the job done early in the count.\"
\r\n
\r\nKnown as an extremely patient hitter willing to take a lot of pitches and work himself deep into counts throughout his career, the Yankees have him working on taking a few less pitches and taking more aggressive swings earlier in the count.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was fortunate enough when I was in Tampa to work with [former hitting coordinator] Gary Denbo right before he left us,\" said the 24-year old. \"We talked for a while and one of the main things he wanted me to work on was just to be more aggressive, not necessarily aggressive like stupid aggressive and just swinging to be swinging, but when I get a good pitch just turn it loose instead of taking it and getting behind in the count.
\r\n
\r\n\"Granted taking pitches and things like that - I feel I've got a pretty good eye at the plate - I get some walks that way, but as I continue to move up and face these better pitchers that's going to lead to more strikeouts. Guys up there have better secondary stuff.
\r\n
\r\n\"A lot of times, as I learned moving up to Triple-A, you only get one good pitch to hit per at-bat and I know that's how it is in the big leagues. I can't be quite as patient and be quite as picky at the plate anymore because I'm going to face more pitchers who throw more strikes, I mean they've got three or four pitches they can throw for strikes instead of one or two that I was seeing in high-A and Double-A.
\r\n
\r\n\"For the most, being more aggressive and when I get a good pitch to hit, go ahead and swing at it and swing at it with more authority, show them I'm going up there ready to hit and not necessarily to take a strike every at-bat, that's what I'm doing.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne of the reasons for foregoing the extreme patient approach, and changing from swinging from a defensive stance to a more aggressive one, is to help improve his power production.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't want to say I'm trying to hit for more power,\" he admitted. \"I don't know exactly how many at-bats I've got but I've had one triple so it doesn't show it [the power], but I've been hitting the ball the best for the past two weeks than I ever have, and harder than I ever have.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just haven't really gotten it beyond anybody. I haven't really gotten under anything and I've lined out a bunch. I'm really pleased with the way things have been going. Maybe the doubles, triples, and occasional home run will come in time.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile he waits for the power to show more in the box scores out in Arizona, his new approach at the plate has helped off to a hot start and he says it is an approach that he will continue to employ from this point forward.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't necessarily always have to hit with two strikes with my back up against the wall,\" said Gardner. \"I think that's very important because these last two weeks have been the first time I've ever done that in my career on a consistent basis, day in and day out.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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