The Yankees have found their Aaron Hicks replacement

miguel andujar, yankees

New York Yankees management has been patiently watching the outfield to see if Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo can turn their seasons around. However, neither have been able to break free of their lengthy cold streaks up to this point.

Hicks is currently hitting .214 with one homer and seven RBIs over 153 plate appearances. He hosts a 15.7% walk rate and 34.2% on-base percentage, but he’s been a liability in the batter’s box and clearly has no slugging ability.

Simply getting on base at an average amount isn’t going to justify Hicks remaining a starter. Manager Aaron Boone has quietly eased him out of his everyday role in centerfield.

On the other hand, Gallo is hitting .177, the worst over the last three seasons. It is almost inconceivable that Gallo could get any worse as an offensive player, hitting five homers and seven RBIs this year with a 37.6% strikeout rate. He has been a net negative to the Yankees squad, but they’re finally getting another chance to see what Miguel Andujar can provide with both outfielders struggling.

Miguel Andujar deserves more opportunities to start:

Andujar was thrust into left-field several years ago trying to find a new home for the struggling infielder. Without much experience in the position, Andujar needed more reps in Triple-A to finally make the transition.

With Giancarlo Stanton battling an ankle injury, Andujar has stepped in valiantly to help the team both offensively and defensively. Over 38 plate appearances, he’s hitting .278 with a 15.8% strikeout rate and three RBIs. In fact, in the Yankees’ 2–1 win over the Angels on Thursday night, Andujar provided a double to deep right-centerfield in the bottom of the 8th inning to help get his team on the board. Anthony Rizzo singled to center shortly after, driving in Andujar and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

So far, Miguel has made a positive impact as a batter, but his defense has also been solid. He made two decent catches against the Angels, tracking the ball through the air as he dashed toward its landing spot. Over 79 innings in the outfield, Andujar has 22 putouts and a perfect fielding percentage.

Given how comfortable he looks in the batters box and the progression he’s been experiencing, the Yankees have no choice but to continue utilizing him even once Stanton returns. Hicks has transitioned to left-field at times to help mitigate fatigue, but it seems as if he’s lost his starting job in center to Aaron Judge, who’s been shifted from right field.

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