New York Yankees Player Profiles: Miguel Andujar a season of questions

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar
Apr 13, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run during the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees Miquel Enrique Andujar was born on March 2, 1995, in San Cristobal, the Dominican Republic. Not much is known about his parents as he lived his childhood with his Grandmother. He played baseball in the sandlots near his home. As a child, his baseball hero was Adrian Beltre, a fellow Dominican that was with the Texas Rangers. His other hobby as a kid was fishing.

Miggy didn’t finish high school where he was learning English, as, when playing baseball locally, he was seen by a Yankee scout that was impressed with his hitting. The Yankees signed Miggy to a minor league contract at the age of just 16 in 2011. After a short time at the Yankees training facility in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, he was sent to Florida. In 2012 he made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Yankees.

In 2014 Andujar was promoted to the Charleston River Dogs. In 2015 he played for the Tampa Yankees and then promoted to the Trenton Thunder in 2017. He ended his season with a .312 average, hitting 7 homers and batting in 52 in 67 games. But up at Scranton, Gleyber Torres suffered an injury, and Miggy was promoted to the Scranton Wilkes/Barre Rail Riders. After playing just seven games with the Rail Riders, he was called up to the Stadium to replace the injured Matt Holliday as DH. In his game, he went 3-4 with four RBIs and a walk, breaking the Yankees’ record for most RBIs in a player’s first game. So that he could continue to play daily at third base, he was sent back to the Rail Riders where he had batted .317 with nine home runs and 30 RBIs in 58 games

He began the 2018 season with the New York Yankees Rail Riders case AAA affiliate but was promoted to the Yankees on April 1, 2018. He hit his first major league home run on April 17. On April 23, Andújar hit a solo home run against the Minnesota Twins, marking his 7th consecutive game with an extra-base hit. On June 5, he hit his first major league Grand Slam. On September 29, Andujar hit his 45th double of the season, breaking the Yankees’ record for most doubles by a rookie, previously held by Joe DiMaggio.

He finished the season batting .297 with 47 doubles, 27 home runs and 92 RBI’s. New York Yankee fans were calling him a doubles machine. If it wasn’t for Aaron Judge’s 52 homers that season, he would have been the number one star of the team. But there was one glaring flaw, his defense of the hot corner at 3rd. He committed 15 errors, showing that he lacked range and an accurate throwing arm. That probably caused him to come in second for the rookie of the year award.  None, the less the Yankees, saw Andujar becoming a future New York Yankee star.

As the 2019 season started, on April 1, he injured his shoulder and was put on the 10 day IL. On April 30 he was sent to the Florida Tarpons to rehab, but on May 4th, he was reactivated, but he again injured the shoulder on the 13th. On the 21st, he was transferred from the 10 day to the 60 day IL due to a torn Labrum, which caused him to have season-ending surgery.

He was reactivated on November 4, 2018. Now the question for the Yankees is what to do with him since while he was out, Gio Urshela became the Yankees man in the hot corner with his Gold Glove type play and above average hitting. GM Cashman has spoken to the subject suggesting they may try him at first or in the outfield. My guess would be, the less than cat-like abilities at third will also show up at first. It is possible that the center field might make more sense for him.

Andujar took part in an intensive, three-day clinic l in Tampa designed to focus on defense. Ulises Cabrera of Octagon, who represents Andujar, employed Mariners first base/infield coach Perry Hill to work with Miggy. Hill has among the best reputations in the game when it comes to improving the defensive work of infielders, and Cabrera recognized questions linger about the fielding work of Andujar. Andujar worked exclusively at third base with Hill, but in gym sessions is beginning to work on items like footwork to better prepare for first base and the outfield if necessary. “Andujar is giving himself a shot by making himself as versatile as possible,” Cabrera said.

As a 2020 baseball season approaches, it appears that Andujar will platoon with Giancarlo Stanton in the left field.  That and using him as a DH while Stanton plays left field will keep both bats in the lineup.  The Yankee expect big things from Andujar at the plate.  They see him about to get at least 30 home runs and dozens of doubles.  Although Miggy underperformed in the shortened spring training, he did a decent job in left field where he played most of his eleven games.  The Yankees will do everything possible to keep his bat in the lineup, especially with Aaron Judge not being expected to be ready at the season’s start.

Wherever they place Andujar, it will be interesting to see how this highly talented player adapts to the changes. Those results could very well determine Miggy’s future with the Yankees.

Miggy, like many Yankee players, is private about his life away from the field. We don’t know of a wife or girlfriend but he does have a young daughter Emma. He likes deep-sea fishing when in spring trading. During the season, he often wears a chain and pendant that his Grandmother gifted him to remind him of her and his Christian faith. Despite having little training, he speaks pretty decent English in interviews.