Friday, June 16, 2017

Meet a Prospect: Austin Gardner


The last time the New York Yankees drafted some guy named Gardner it really seemed to work out for them. I can only assume that this did not enter the minds of the people making the decisions during this year’s draft but if right-handed pitcher Austin Gardner, the Yankees 9th round selection of the of the University of Texas at Arlington, can be half as good and half as beloved as Brett Gardner then New York may have found a diamond in the rough here with Austin.

Gardner is yet another pitcher and yet another closer being added to the Yankees system but unlike the others this righty does not have experience at the collegiate level as a starting pitcher. Not to say that the team cannot convert him to one and try it out later but as it stands now I am highly doubtful that this is in the plans right now, and that’s ok. If Gardner signs and pitches strictly out of the bullpen he could be one of the first Yankees prospects out of this draft class to reach Triple-A and the Major Leagues, if not the first. Gardner, Austin, like Gardner, Brett, has the term “fast mover” written all over him in my opinion.

Gardner stands 6’2” and weighs in at 215 lbs. which makes him an intimidating presence when on the mound at the end of games. Gardner appeared in 29 games for UTA as their closer in 2017 posting a 2-1 record with a 2.42 ERA and two saves. Gardner struck out 55 batters in 44.2 innings allowing just 36 hits and 10 walks. Dominance at the collegiate level.


Gardner also has baseball coursing through his veins as his father, Scott Gardner played baseball at Oklahoma before pitching inside the Houston Astros organization from 1980-1983. There’s a good chance that Gardner will sign so let me be the first to congratulate the right-hander and welcome him to the family. Welcome, Austin!


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