photo credit:AP / Lynne Sladky
Cold Start but Heating Up
Miguel Andujar started the 2018 season at only 1 for 16. Some were suggesting that he wasn’t quite ready for the big club after tearing the ball off the cover in Spring Training. Since then, he’s been 17 for 46 for a .370 batting average, and is just shy of .300 for the season. Mostly known for his arm, Andujar has started to contribute offensively for the Yankees. Going into today’s game, Andujar is slugging .500 and has twice as many extra base hits compared to singles.
Plate Discipline Needs Improvement
Despite having a batting average of .295 now, Andujar’s on base percentage is only .313. He has only two walks in 64 plate appearances this season. That is the seventh-worst walk rate in the American League. So far in his minor league career, Andujar has been a slightly below average walk guy, but it’s something he’ll need to improve upon regardless.
Hitting Better as He Moves Up
Surprisingly, Andujar’s batting average improved as he moved up to harder levels of ball. After hitting only .243 in Single-A ball in 2015, Andujar hit .312 and .317 between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017. He also set career highs in home runs, and struck out less than 15 percent of the time. Currently, he leads AL third baseman in slugging percentage also.
High Ceiling Still
At only 23, Andujar is almost six years younger than the current league average. He still doesn’t even have 100 MLB plate appearances under his belt yet. Despite this, he’s already starting at third base for a solid Yankees team that made the playoffs one year prior. So far, we’ve only just begun to see what Andujar is capable of. Andujar only needed 58 games at Triple-A for the Yankees to see that he was more than capable of making the jump to the big club. The six foot 210 pound right hander gives the Yankees a lot to be optimistic about, and for years to come. There are some who are naive enough to suggest that Brian Cashman hasn’t done anything since 2009, but the truth is that the Yankees have been stockpiling prospects for a few years now.
And they’re already showing signs of being superstars.