TAFT, California —— At the top of this post, watch our scouting video of Taft College shortstop Jayce Gardner, taken from his at-bats in a recent Cougars’ home game against a Central Valley Conference opponent in the College of the Sequoias.
Jayce Gardner scouting report — notes & observations
Taft shortstop Jayce Gardner has had a tough go of it early this spring for the Cougars, hitting just .229 through his first 19 games entering Tuesday. There are some things to like about his offensive profile, though, and it starts with the minimal swing-and-miss in his game (just seven strikeouts in 55 plate appearances). In that regard, Gardner is the perfect eight/nine-hole hitter for the Cougars right now: he’ll put the ball in play, he’s fast out of the box, he hustles hard on the bases and around the field, and he does the rest of the little, unmeasurable things to provide Taft coach Vince Maiocco some relative ease in knowing what to expect from the toughest defensive position on the field.
Speaking of that defensive position, Gardner is a good athlete at shortstop—aggressive to the ball, fundamentally sound, and with decent arm strength. He might get moved off the position at the four-year level, or find himself working as a kind of super-utility infielder that can do it all, but he’s more than proficient at short with good range and soft hands. The bottom line is he’s good enough to continue his career at the four-year level, gritty enough to grind out tough at-bats and make pitchers work, and mature enough in his approach at the plate and in the field to have made himself into a consistent, stable entity in Taft’s lineup.
Jayce Gardner scouting report — Multimedia
For our first video, you can see Gardner hitting in four at-bats against COS in the video at the very top of this post.
Here’s more Gardner at-bat video from a March 14 game against Porterville College, too:
You can also see Gardner’s swing mechanics in some of these at-bats here:
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