The hype train is real with Miguel Andujar this spring and with good reason. Andujar has already belted four home runs and has a cool .364 batting average through eight games.
But before we get too hasty with spring training numbers, I thought it’d be interesting to look at past Yankee home run leaders in spring training to see where Andujar’s numbers currently stand. Regardless, Andujar comes with some pedigree as the Yankees fourth-ranked prospect, so seeing him off to a hot start does nothing but help his future.
In 2017, Greg Bird led all Yankees in spring training with eight home runs. That’s pretty serious for a month’s work where you don’t play every game and you don’t even play every inning of the games you do start. Unfortunately, we all know how that correlated into the season, as Bird hit the DL for most of the year.
2016 is interesting due to the fact that no player on the team hit even three home runs in spring training. Starlin Castro, Aaron Hicks, and Brett Gardner had two apiece. Everyone else hit one or zero. It’s a brutal reminder of the state of this organization prior to Cashman’s 2016 trade deadline transformation.
Four different players hit three home runs in 2015, though that group includes A-Rod, Chase Headley, and Stephen Drew – all of whom had poor to average years with the team. In 2014, old backup catcher Francisco Cervelli hit four home runs, with a couple other players hitting two. Cervelli went on to hit two all of 2014.
So based on the last four spring trainings, it’s clear that four home runs, especially this early in spring, is pretty impressive compared to years past.
So far Andujar is averaging a home run every other game. Will he keep that pace? No. Are these just spring training numbers? Yes. But what Andujar has managed to do early on in spring training is impressive nonetheless. Arguably it looks like an infield spot may be his to lose.