Top 10 Most Interesting Yankees in 2020: Miguel Andujar
By Patrick Gunn
As a part of Start Spreading the News’ top 10 list of “players we are most excited to see what they do” in 2020, let’s take a quick look at Miguel Andujar…
Miguel Andujar has been on a roller-coaster over the past two seasons. To them up briefly:
2018: Andujar finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting after posting a .527 slugging percentage and a 130 OPS+
2019: Andujar played in only 12 games due to a shoulder injury and lost his starting third base spot after Gio Urshela had an improbably fantastic season.
Now, Andujar is not going to be solely manning the hot corner this year. He’s been learning the outfield and some first base to try and earn some playing time. He could earn his position back, but he also did struggling defensively in 2018 (-1.8 Baseball-Reference defensive WAR). So, defensively, this could be a blessing in disguise: moving to the outfield or first base might help Andujar become at least a league-average player in the field.
On top of showing that he can play a new position, Andujar needs to hit to keep his spot. His 2018 slugging percentage was higher than that of his career mark in the minors (.413). Also, he’s going to have to be more patient at the plate, as he only posted a .328 on-base percentage in 2018 despite a .297 batting average and has only a .318 mark in the minor leagues. So, even after a great rookie season, Andujar needs to improve that his offensive production is for real and that he can improve his hitter’s eye.
Andujar certainly has the talent to grow in these areas. Also, he does something that few Yankees do consistently: put the ball in play. If he can keep making contact at a high rate while also walking more and improving defensively, Andujar should do just fine.