By now, it’s becoming clear that Miguel Andujar wasn’t fully healthy in 2020. His strength hadn’t come all the way back after 2019 labrum surgery, as the New York Yankees’ infielder/outfielder wasn’t hitting the ball hard at all, both in average and max exit velocity.
The evidence suggests that now, Andujar is back to feeling like his 2018 self, at least regarding his ability to hit the ball hard. His average and max exit velocities in 2021 (89.8 mph, 110.2 mph) are right in line with his 2018 marks of 89.1 mph and 110.4 mph, respectively.
We don’t need to remind Yankees fans that Andujar was the 2018 Rookie of the Year runner-up by hitting .297 with 27 homers and 76 extra-base hits.
A horrific start of the 2021 campaign is still dragging Andujar’s line, which is currently .247/.256/.393 with four homers. But the truth is he is, besides Gary Sanchez, the hottest hitter in the New York Yankees’ roster.
Andujar is hitting .296/.321/.741 with four homers since May 31. That’s about what he can offer as a major leaguer: a solid average and some power, but with a low OBP.
The Yankees have a flawed, but talented player in Andujar
Andujar has many flaws as a baseball player. He is slow, he doesn’t play good defense anywhere on the diamond (and Giancarlo Stanton is clearly the starting designated hitter) and he doesn’t draw walks.
However, if he regains his 2018 form at the plate, which is seemingly happening, he may have his use on an injury-riddled Yankees team that has been struggling offensively and could use all the hot bats there are, even if it means playing Andujar in left field and first base with some regularity.
As long as Andujar keeps hitting and producing, the Yankees will likely find at-bats for him even if it means sacrificing defense. And that appears to be the case right now.