Miguel Andujar, despite missing all of 2019, has always been on Aaron Boone’s radar. Getting Andujar at-bats every day is a task Boone embraces with glee.
Miguel Anjujar’s name is never listed as a Yankees regular. A third baseman by trade, Andujar has no permanent position. But Aaron Boone is confident he can (and therefore will) play as many as four positions in the field, including both corner outfield spots, as well as first base – anything to get his bat in the lineup.
Though not sufficiently developed to play any of those positions in the major leagues, Boone praises Andujar for the hard work he is putting in as he moves around the field each day. Speaking with Kristie Ackert from the New York Daily News, Boone put it this way.
“I don’t know,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said when asked about his plan for Andujar. “I think you guys have gathered just from talking to me about how excited I’ve been with his work in the corner outfield spots, not only this winter but then transitioning into spring and then what we’ve even seen in some game action.”
Miguel Andujar: Like Gleyber Torres, The Skies The Limit
Just turned 25, Miguel Andujar impresses with his speed and his constant ability to make contact on the sweet spot of his bat.
Eyes lit up the other day when Andujar touched Gerrit Cole for an opposite-field home run; the only hit Cole surrendered in his five-inning outing.
One American League scout who observed Andujar during the 2016 Arizona Fall League, commented:
“I like him. At the plate, he’s got really quick hands. He hits the ball to all fields. He has good pitch recognition. He’s laid off some tough breaking balls, and I saw him hit a good breaking ball right up the middle for a hit.”
If anything, Miguel Andujar’s value to the Yankees has only risen since then.
Stop Calling The Yankees About Miguel Andujar
Ironically, Andujar’s name is always among those prominently listed when trade talks heat up. But it’s likely Brian Cashman has been on the receiving end of calls from teams most interested in Andujar, rather than the GM initiating calls.
Seemingly, Miguel Andujar’s 2017 season, when he finished with robust numbers and a runner-up to Shohei Otani in the Rookie of the Year voting, squashed any possibility he will ever be let go by the Yankees.
However, during Andujar’s absence from the team last year, third baseman Gio Urshela, with a stellar season of his own, gave the Yankees more than enough to think about.
Hence, the need for Miguel Andujar and the Yankees to get creative in transferring his athletic talent to another position.
Typically, we think of a player who can field four positions as a utility player. That terminology, while it fits Tyler Wade, cannot be applied to Andujar.
Aaron Boone casts Miguel Andujar as a regular with no regular position. Young and spirited, Andujar has the benefit of fifteen months away from the field, and “rest” for Andujar will not be in the vocabulary of Boone.
Miguel Andujar: Squarely In The Yankees Tradition
Unlike his teammate Gary Sanchez who appears willing to plod through life with his God-given talents and nothing more (sorry – it’s true), Dominican born Miguel Andujar never finished high school while he was learning English.
Nevertheless, Andujar considers it a goal to learn English as much as works to learn to play left field. The YES Network on Twitter recently brought kudos from fans encouraging his quest – amidst all the other challenges facing a 25-year-old living in the United States amid a pandemic.
The Yankees are and always have been an organization that values character as much as a player’s ability to perform and excel on the field.
Aaron Boone sees both traits in Miguel Andujar, and that’s why we’ll see his name somewhere in the Yankee’s lineup every game – no matter what.