If not for a rain-out of the Yankees game in Camden Yards against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night, I would not have had the urge to compare the numbers so far this season of Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, and the “Millville Meteor,” a/k/a Mike Trout.
The Millville Meteor deserves the accolade; he lives in the stratosphere, belting out a scorching .303/.448/.672 slash line with a 1.119 OPS.
As an exercise, I wanted to know just how far off the pace the Yankees star rookies were from a super star like Trout.
Andujar is slashing .290/.310/.494 with a .804 OPS and has been an extra base hit machine this season.
Torres, on the other hand, is hitting .319/.376/.593 with a .969 OPS and has shown surprising power early on.
In his rookie season, Trout hit .326/.399/564 with a .963 OPS after a full season and was showered with awards.
Now you could say I’m comparing apples and oranges by comparing Trout, now a seasoned veteran and perennial All-Star with two Most Valuable Player Awards, a Rookie of the Year Award and numerous Silver Slugger Awards to a couple of hot Yankee prospects fresh up from the minor leagues and I am.
But the question remains, how close are these Yankee prospects to launching themselves into full star status?
Tom Krosnowski of Pinstripe Alley writes of Andujar’s start to the season:
“The 23-year-old third baseman is second on the club in hits and leads the team in doubles. On a team with hitters like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius, that Andujar is producing at their level before even playing 50 MLB games is beyond impressive.”
Andujar has faced some of the toughest pitching in the league as the Yankees have faced the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox several times already this season.
Even with a small sample size, Andujar has shown he is not intimidated by the elite pitchers in the league—this season he is 1-2 against Boston’s Drew Pomeranz, 1-3 against Boston’s Rick Porcello, 1-3 against Houston’s Lance McCullers, Jr. and an impressive 2-5 against Justin Verlander.
Torres, despite being called up from AAA on April 22, has likewise succeeded against the best pitching in Major League Baseball.
The number one prospect in the Yankees organization has fulfilled the projections and beyond this season, as he has not only hit all over the field, but also hit for power and has 9 home runs and 26 RBIs. He also has two walk-off hits to his credit.
Torres doesn’t seem overmatched and presents a calm, controlled demeanor at the plate, even with two strikes, he’s deadly.
“Being that young and playing for this organization, there’s a lot of pressure,” Sabathia said. “For him to be able to deliver in these moments, it just means there’s more to come.”
On a team with Judge, Stanton and Sanchez, Torres and Andujar have more than measured up. In some statistical areas, the rookies are leading the veterans and thus leading the team as it racks up victory after victory and series win after series win this season.
For now Torres and Andujar can only aspire to the soaring heights reached by the Millville Meteor— there’s a lot of baseball to be played—but Yankee fans are fortunate to be along for the ride!