2009 Stats: .270/3/23/.345
I'm going out on a limb here by guessing that the Yankees will end up playing Gardner in Center rather than Left. We saw last year with the one and two spots in the line up that Girardi will make decisions based on what he thinks is the best fit for the team, not the individual players. Since most baseball people seem to agree that Gardner is better defensively in center, I'm going to go ahead and guess that Girardi plays him there.
Gardner is an unproven commodity. He began 2009 as the starting Center Fielder, only to be replaced by Melky Cabrera when he didn't hit. Presumably, he'll get a longer look in Center this time around, but with Randy Winn on the bench, if Gardner doesn't hit we can expect to see Granderson back in Center with Winn in Left. At that point Gardner would resume his important role of giving high fives and keeping the seats of players currently on base warm.
Gardner's most important stat? .345. Gardner's OBP, assuming he can sustain that in a starting role, would be impressive in the 9 spot, and would give the Yankees three on base guys prior to the 3 and 4 spots after the first time through the line-up. I suspect it's that OBP that has the Yankees willing to take a flyer on this guy.
Gardner will be thrust into scandal over his endorsement of Rogaine when it is revealed that he was bald voluntarily. He will not replicate his .345 OBP but no one will care because he's the nine hitter on a team that will almost score 1000 runs anyway.
Little Known Gardner Fact:
Brett Gardner is so fast that the street signs in his neighborhood used to read: FAST, CHILDREN.