On Opening Day 2018, Brandon Drury stood on the third base bag in Toronto for the New York Yankees. By April 7 he was out of the lineup with medical issues and fans were soon recalling the infamous Wally Pip as Miguel Andujar took over at third base and the rest, as they say, is history.
Fast-forward to June 12 with a healthy, clear-sighted Drury tearing it up with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (SWB).
— DJ Eberle (@ByDJEberle) June 13, 2018
Since his return from the disabled list on May 14 Drury has posted a .305/.436/.450 slash line with three home runs, eight doubles, 16 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.
Recently, Drury said to The Athletic’s Marc Carig:
“I don’t belong here at all,” Drury said, matter-of-factly.
Drury went on to say that what keeps him going every day is that the experience is making him a better player.
The versatile Drury, who has played all over the field in his career, but over the last three prior seasons with Arizona, he played mostly in the infield—136 games at second base, 48 games at third base and one inning of one game at first base.
Right away you see the problem, The Yankees and their fans are pretty happy with their second and third basemen right now as Gleyber Torres and Andujar juggle the Rookie of the Year between them like a hot potato.
George King III of the New York Post speculates that Drury’s recent outing at first base for SWB on Tuesday may be a way for him to break back into the big league lineup.
“Drury, who played one inning of a major league game at first for Arizona, could be getting familiar with the position in case the Yankees decide first baseman Tyler Austin needs to play more than the four games he has started since May 25 at first.”
While King speculates that Tyler Austin may need more work at SWB, making room for Drury to back up first baseman, Greg Bird, others are speculating that Bird himself may need some bench time as he has been slow out of the gate returning from the disabled list.
Bird is slashing .176/.236/.392 with two home runs and four RBIs in 51 at-bats since his return. Drury, in the meantime, is posting a .313/.442/.455 slash line with two home runs, eight doubles, 14 RBIs and two stolen bases in 112 at-bats in SWB.
Not only has there been speculation that Drury may rejoin the Yankees and Austin be sent down, but also there has been speculation that he may be a significant part of a trade package for a starting pitcher with the recent Tommy John surgery of Jordan Montgomery and the injury to Masahiro Tanaka.
Carig speculates that:
“However, in the right deal, the Yankees would trade Drury. He isn’t a free agent until 2022. He reaches arbitration for the first time next winter, so his salary will remain relatively inexpensive. The defensive versatility that made him attractive to the Yankees will hold similar appeal for rival clubs. His inclusion in a trade could conceivably help in the team’s expected pursuit of a starting pitcher.”
Drury promises to be an exciting player this season, whether that will be for the New York Yankees remains to be seen. If Drury is brought up as a back-up infielder, expect him to perform and compete like he’s fighting for a job because that’s exactly what he’ll be doing.