I was hoping you'd use some stats to back up your points instead of statements such as your opening statement. Unless you can read the future, it's not worth much.
Gardner has consistently put up high BABIPs in the minors. I'm not sure why when he does it at the MLB level, it's being called into question - check it out - http://www.fangraphs...927&position=OF
First, I'm sorry that I don't have the studies right in front of me, but generally, when a player has a slugging percentage lower than their on base percentage, it is difficult for them to improve or even sustain their level of production. It happens from time to time, but more often than not, those guys are out of the league or back up OFs because pitchers eventually just challenge them. You can look at Baseball Behind the Numbers to find that players who have one offensive skill tend to develop less than players with multiple offensive skills. Additionally, young players with good discipline and lower batting averages generally develop less than players with al around skill.
Garnder's career MLB BABIP from the fangraphs is .324. His .340 BABIP is above that. His minor league BABIP may be around .340, but like almost all minor league stats, especially for a guy whose first long exposure to the bigs is at 27, his baseline will be lower than his minor league stats because the minor leagues are easier.
Checking out his minor league BABIP, he has a season at A+ with a .414 BABIP, two seasons at AA at .324 and .341, and one season of AAA at .370. Following that, he has major league BABIPs of .296 and .311, and then this last season at .340. So we have 2 MLB seasons below what you think his new baseline is, 2 AA season at or below where his purported baseline is, and 2 minor league seasons above his baseline. In total, 4 seasons that should be considered below .340 BABIP, 2 seasons above. The way I look at it, he is due a correction downward.
Can you read the future or do you think one major league season is predictive? Do you really think you can take his most recent season and use that as his major league production? Do you think scouting is completely worthless? You do realize that you have failed to bring up stats to support your point aside from Brett's one year correct? That basing a projection on one year is worth old crusty shrivelled up old man dick?
Fuck me, I just looked at all your old posts on this topic and you haven't even put any stats in at all. You just cited a fangraphs page. You put no stats up yourself and ask me for stats? Here's a challenge for you. Find me a player beyond 1920 who put up higher OBP than SLG and hit for a below .300 average that actually had a career. I put these requirements in because (1) it describes Gardner and (2) it is important. The batting average is important because it shows an ability to make contact and put in play a variety of pitches, not just the one he waits for.
Here's a hint: It almost never happens because those players are too limited for long major league careers. They either develop power (we have no basis to believe Brett Gardner will do this) or they become backups. Brett's baseball reference comps who have OBP close to equal to their SLG didn't last in the league. The hope for Brett Gardner is that he is Brett Butler's illegitimate son, though that is unlikely becuase Butler would hit .300 from time to time, walk more, and played in an era where offense was harder to come by. Maybe Otis Nixon would be OK, though he wasn't as good as Ellsbury.
Maybe Gardner learns to make more and better contact and Ellsbury totally flames out. It's possible. But if you are going to bet on a guy in the future, you can't just take the most recent season and say done. You take into account guys he is comparable to, his player profile, his past seasons (Ellsbury has had some pretty good ones). Brett Gardner is a guy who just had the season of his life. Even after having that season, his offense was about as good as Ellsbury's 2009 (.354 wOBA, 32 oRAR for Ellsbury in 2009; .358 wOBA, 26 oRAR for Gardner in 2010). So Ellsbury, a year before Gardner, had Gardner's level of offense, except he also hit with some power while Gardner couldn't hit with power in one of the stadiums designed for LHH power.
As I said, I would take Ellsbury in the future.