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Bronson Sardinha

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Bronson Kiheimahanaomauiakeo Sardinha

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[edit] Biographical Information

Bronson Sardinha hit .391 as a high school senior. Scouted by Gus Quattlebaum, the New York Yankees took him with the 34th pick of the 2001 amateur draft and signed him for a $1,100,000. At the time, it was the highest any Hawaii high schooler was drafted. A shortstop in high school, Sardinha has played short, third and the outfield in the minors. He is the brother of Dane Sardinha and Duke Sardinha. He has moved through the system at a normal pace spending roughly one year at every level, except AA where he played for 2 seasons.

Assigned to the GCL Yankees, he hit .303/.398/.473 with 11 steals in 13 tries. He led the Gulf Coast League with 42 runs (in 55 games), was 8th in average and was honored as the GCL All-Star shortstop. Baseball America rated him as the GCL's #3 prospect after Chad Petty and Anderson Hernandez.

At age 19, Sardinha hit .263/.334/.406 with 15 steals in 21 tries for the Greensboro Bats but fielded just .889 at shortstop, far less than the other player they tried there, Robinson Cano. Shortly after the short-season leagues began, he was demoted to the Staten Island Yankees in part to learn the outfield. He hit .323/.433/.484 in 36 games, helping Staten Island to a title. Had he qualified, he would have edged Jorge Cortes for the New York-Penn League OBP lead and ranked 4th in average. As Cano had been demoted with Sardinha, other managers accused George Steinbrenner of adding talent for the pennant run. Baseball America rated him the #4 prospect in the NYPL, ahead of teammates Chien-Ming Wang (#6) and Cano (#11).

Sardinha started 2003 with the Tampa Yankees and hit .193/.279/.264 in 59 games before being demoted to the Battle Creek Yankees, where he batted .275/.374/.424 in 71 contests.

He split 2004 between the Tampa Yankees and Trenton Thunder he hit .289 with 8 home runs and 62 RBI. After that season he was named the 9th best prospect in the Yankees system by Baseball America. He hit .315/.389/.403 in 63 games for Tampa and .267/.356/.383 in 72 for Trenton. He reached base in 46 consecutive games early in the season. Had he qualified, he would have led the Florida State League in batting average.

In 2005, the 22-year-old produced at a .258/.338/.398 clip with 115 strikeouts and 30 doubles as the right fielder for Trenton. He hit .344/~.382/.510 for the Grand Canyon Rafters in the Arizona Fall League; as it was a high-offense year, he failed to make the top 10 in average in the AFL.

In 2006, he was named to the Eastern League mid-season All-Star team. He batted .254/.324/.380 in 86 games with Trenton and then hit .286/.365/.492 in 52 for the AAA Columbus Clippers. Overall, he smacked 16 home runs.

He started the 2007 season with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and hit only .222/.306/.387 and 11 home runs in 109 games. He spent some time back at Trenton, where he hit .429 with 4 home runs in 15 games. In spite of his poor offensive production in AAA, he was recalled by the Yankees in September, making his Major League debut on September 15 during a quadruple switch. He got his first at-bat against Bryan Corey with Hideki Matsui on first and one out in the top of the 9th and grounded into a game-ending double play.

Sources: 2002-2007 Baseball Almanacs, 2007 Yankees Media Guide, MILB.com

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