Miguel Andujar has had an interesting start to his Yankee career. His 27 HR, 99 RBI performance in 2018 netted him a second place finish in American League Rookie of the Year voting. Andujar then played just 12 games in 2019 after injuring his shoulder early in the season. He returned this season looking for a role after Gio Urshela established himself as the starting third baseman in 2019. Andujar started the season just 1-21 in limited playing time. He recently found his stroke, going 11-31 with a homer and five RBI in September. However, with Giancarlo Stanton’s activation on Tuesday, Andujar was optioned to the alternate site.
There’s a lot to unpack with Andujar. What’s his role in 2020 and moving forward?
Truthfully, I wasn’t sure how much of a factor Andujar would be in 2020. After missing nearly all of 2019, having surgery, and an extended layoff due to the delayed season, he was thrust into action without regular at-bats. With consistent playing time, we’ve already seen Andujar look similar to his 2018 self at the plate.
Between how much time he missed & how bad he looked early on, I thought there was no shot Andujar would be a contributor this year. Now that he’s playing every day, he’s already looking like his 2018 self
Andujar’s main problem is that he essentially doesn’t have a position.
To say Urshela is an upgrade defensively over Andujar is a massive understatement. The Yankees have tried using Andujar in left field this season, and he hasn’t looked particularly good. Maybe he can eventually develop into a competent left fielder, but I can’t imagine him playing there in the 2020 playoffs. If he’s on the playoff roster, Andujar’s role is basically locked in as a bat off the bench. With Mike Ford struggling mightily and Clint Frazier in the lineup, Miggy will likely be the best option to pinch hit. Ideally, you don’t have to pinch hit for anybody with the Yankees’ lineup at full strength. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Andujar is in the Yankees’ playoff plans.
I asked people on Twitter for their thoughts on Andujar. Most responses I received were that the Yankees should trade him. However, I’d rather see Andujar stay a Yankee.
Even if the universal DH is here to stay, how much would a positionless Andujar really command? I don’t think he could headline a deal for a frontline starting pitcher, at least not right now. Sure, he may not have a position, but who’s to say he can’t eventually become a competent corner outfielder?
With the amount of time Judge and Stanton have missed the past two years, Andujar is not a bad insurance policy to have in case they go down again. If they have a chance to get their hands on a Kyle Hendricks-type pitcher and Andujar has to be in the deal, then so be it. But unless the Yankees are getting a stud in return, I want Miguel Andujar in pinstripes for the forseeable future.