Q&A with Yankees' 3rd Rd. Pick, Brett Gardner

Brett Gardner Compares Himself to Johnny Damon

PinstripesPlus.com caught up with Yankees' 3rd round pick and College of Charleston outfielder Brett Gardner for a Q&A session. Having already gotten a taste of Yankees' minor league baseball after watching the Charleston Riverdogs this season, Gardner can't wait to play in front of the hometown crowd sometime soon.

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PinstripesPlus: Brett, congratulations on being drafted today. Tell us what it feels like to be selected by the New York Yankees.

Brett Gardner: I couldn't be any happier. It really didn't matter where I went to be honest. It it every kid's dream to play in the big leagues. But to be drafted by a team like the Yankees is a dream come true. It is even better when a good team like the Yankees wants to have you as part of their organization.

PinstripesPlus: Talk about your game a little bit. What type of player are you and how do you see yourself fitting in with the Yankees?

Gardner: My strongest asset is my speed. What I'm able to do is get on base, make things happen on the bases, and score runs. Even though I've seen the Riverdogs a few times this year, I'm exactly sure what the Yankees have in their farm system as far as outfielders. But I'm sure I will fit well with them and they will find a place for my strengths.

PinstripesPlus: Who would you compare your game to at the Major League level so the Yankees' fans have an idea of what your game is like?

Gardner: I'd say I'm a Johnny Damon or Juan Pierre type of player. I don't think I have as much power as Damon right now, but I think there's a chance I could hit for as much power as him someday. Right now I'm more like Juan Pierre. I've got above average speed and I play good defense in centerfield. I have a good arm, but it isn't the strongest. I do make accurate throws though.

PinstripesPlus: You mentioned that you've seen the Riverdogs some this season. Keeping that in mind, have you given any thought where you might be playing for the Yankees this summer?

Gardner: I'm not sure where the Yankees plan on playing me this year. If I could get to play in front of the hometown crowd here in Charleston next summer or this summer, that would be great. I'm just so glad to be a part of a great organization like the Yankees. Steve Swail, the area scout, called me up to give me the news and congratulate me on being drafted. He's supposed to give me a call back and let me know what the plans are. I'm thinking it'll either be Staten Island or Charleston though.

PinstripesPlus: Were you expecting to be drafted by the Yankees or were you surprised when they selected you?

Gardner: I had been talking with the Yankees before the draft but I wasn't getting my hopes up at all. But I was a little prepared for it. I'll tell you what though, when I saw my name on the Internet next to the Yankees, I have never been so excited before in my life.

PinstripesPlus: You went undrafted after your junior year but went in the third round this year as a four-year player. That doesn't happen all to often.

Gardner: Yeah, I went undrafted my junior year and just kept working on my game. It obviously has all worked out for me though. I was hoping to go in the fourth or fifth round this year, but I really didn't know what to expect.

PinstripesPlus: What are your immediate plans now that you have been drafted by the Yankees?

Gardner: I just want to continue to work hard and get in the organization and move up as fast as I can. Like I said, I'm not that familiar with what they have in the outfield but we'll see what happens in the next year or so. I'm ready to get started.

PinstripesPlus.com would like to thank Brett Gardner for taking the time to answer our questions and we wish him the best of luck as he begins his career as a New York Yankee.

Do you want to read about and hear from all the latest Yankees' draft picks? Be sure to sign up today for PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass so you won't miss a beat!

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