With Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela fighting their way back from injury, the New York Yankees had a depletion of talent in the infield. Looking for more defensively stout options, the Yankees settled on Andrew Velazquez, a journeyman since his inception into professional baseball in 2012.
Starting his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Velazquez has found himself with Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Baltimore. Last season with the Orioles, Velazquez played in 40 games, posting a .159 average and 30% strikeout rate. With a positive defensive WAR, Velazquez serves a specific purpose, but its his offensive production with the Yankees that’s put him on the map.
It is always been a dream for Andrew to don the pinstripes, with his father working with the NYPD.
â€œIn that locker room, with those guys, Iâ€™ve dreamt of doing what I just did,â€ Velazquez said, recounting his words. â€œIn real life, it was way better.â€
On Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees finalize a three-game sweep, winning their six consecutive game. Velazquez played a big part in the victory, recording a single in the second inning that drove in two runs and another single in the eighth inning that punched in Gary Sanchez.
Management has been ecstatic about the acquisition, especially skipper Aaron Boone who spoke of his impact and the value he brings.
â€œHe endeared himself to our room in spring training. I think everyone enjoyed getting to know him,â€ Aaron Boone said. â€œHe can really play short, but he has the defensive versatility to move around. You see the speed that he has, and he can swing the bat a little bit. Heâ€™s gotten some big hits for us here the last couple of days and played really well in helping us win games.â€
Despite hosting a .217 average over 10 games this year, Velazquez has proved to be an asset with Torres dealing with a thumb injury that will keep them out for a few more weeks. His speed on the base paths and timely hitting have helped the Yankees overcome a few significant obstacles. The Bombers are currently five games back from Tampa Bay in the AL East standings and have secured first place in the Wild Card race. Now, it is all about consistency and trying to catch up with Tampa.