Yankees Hot Corner – Miguel Andujar for ROY?
For as much fanfare as Gleyber Torres has gotten this season, he might not even be the best rookie on his own team. Up until this week, Torres was well regarded as the top prospect and rookie on this young Yankees team. However, he’s been slumping lately and his average has fallen under .270 for the first time in months. Every rookie goes through these struggles, but his slump just happened to have coincided with the rise of Miguel Andujar.
It was spoken about before the season that Andujar may find his way onto the 25 man roster. What was not spoken about was the meteoric rise of the young star, and him overtaking Brandon Drury as the every day third baseman. Andujar essentially Wally Pipped Drury while he was dealing with concussion symptoms, and the rest is history.
What makes Andujar so good? For starters, he is not afraid of the big moment. He already has a walk-off hit, multiple clutch home runs and just hit the go-ahead home run against the Texas Rangers on Saturday afternoon. Second, he has one of the sweetest strokes in baseball. His swing is both beautifully compact and violent. He rips balls down the left field line consistently and has 31 doubles this season, tops for all rookies.
Andujar still has a lot to improve on, as he doesn’t walk much (only 18 on the season) and has committed a team high 12 errors this season. Surprisingly enough, even with the errors he is much more efficient on defense than anyone thought. He made Brandon Drury expendable and the future is bright in the infield with he, Torres, Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird.
Now bodes the question; Can Andujar win Rookie of the Year? It’s obviously going to be a two man race between the two young teammates, but Andujar’s stats are just better all around. He’s currently batting .293 (tops on the Yankees) with 17 home runs, 55 RBIs, and an impressive number of extra base hits. He went through his slump earlier in the season and in his last seven games is batting .321 with eight runs, nine hits, three home runs and even a stolen base!
The ROY will still probably go to Torres due to the stellar season he’s had and the name recognition. Torres may be touted as the next future star of the Yankees, but don’t scoff at Andujar. He reminds a lot of people of a young Alfonso Soriano. If he can be even close to the player Soriano was, it’ll be a win for the Yankees. Once again, don’t sleep on Miguel Andujar.