New York Yankees: Should the Yankees trade Miguel Andujar if his defense lacks in left field?

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

The New York Yankees have a host of talented players, Miguel Andujar is one of them, although at the moment he is the odd man out.  He has no specific position to play, although he has had some experience playing left field during the shortened spring training season.  The Yankees want to keep his bat in the lineup somehow, even if it’s as a DH.

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.  As he was 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, 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 elevated to the Trenton Thunder in 2017. He ended his season with a .312 average, hitting seven 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.

He began the 2018 season with the Rail Riders 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. Yankee fans were calling him a doubles machine. If it weren’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.

As the 2019 season started, on April 1 he injured his shoulder and was put on the ten-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.

During his absence, the Yankees needed to replace Andujar at third and brought up Gio Urshela that the New York Yankees had traded the Toronto Blues for in August of 2018.  Urshela was known for his cat-like defense at the hot corner, ironically he was the reverse of Andujar, who was often criticized for his lacking defense.  Likewise, Urshela was lacking at the plate.  As the season progressed, Urshela showed off with his gold glove-like plays at third and, at the same time, showed he could hit the ball.  He ended the season having the second-highest batting average (.314) on the team, and he also hit for power, hitting 21 home runs.

Early in spring training, the Yankees announced that Gio Urshela would be the starting third baseman, making Miguel Andujar, the odd man out.  The New York Yankees are making every effort to find a place for him on the team.  The tried him at first base, but where they liked him best was in left field.  In the shortened spring training season, he played adequately in left field.  When the 2020 season starts, he will compete with Giancarlo Stanton for the field position, they will also probably alternate as DH.  The New York Yankees also have Mike Tauchman, Tyler Wade, and Clint Frazier that can man left field.

The question for the Yankees is; what if he doesn’t perform well in left?  Should they move him to the center or just have him be a DH?  Whatever the case, it seems like a waste of talent as at present, they really don’t have a bonafide use for him.  Possibly he is the most value to the Yankees as a trading piece.  The Yankees would surely like a veteran back up to Gleyber Torres at shortstop, should he fail to perform well.

Wherever they place Andujar it will be interesting to see how this highly talented player adapts to the changes. Miggy like many Yankee players is private about his life away from the field. We don’t know of a wife or girlfriend, and no evidence shows on his Twitter account that he is presently involved, 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.