21-year-old Miguel Andujar is already the No. 7 ranked prospect in the entire Yankees Minor League system.
Miguel Andujar’s play in the Arizona Fall League has the Yankees front office on high alert–that someone not named Sanchez, Frazier, or Torres will one day soon be ready for a shot at the next level.
Through five games, Andujar is batting .375 (6-for-16) with a .974 OPS for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Sure it’s a small sample size, but it’s not like this is the first time the young Dominican has shown a propensity for getting on base.
Through two different levels of Minor League ball this past season, Andujar combined for a .273 batting average, 12 home runs, 83 RBIs and a .332 on-base percentage.
In the five seasons as a Yankees farmhand, Andujar has impressed not only with a fast bat and above average power (especially against right-handed pitching) but soft hands, solid range, and a throwing arm that scouts suggest would equal that of a 95mph fastball if he were a pitcher.
“He can swing the bat, plays the game hard and the right way,’’ a scout said. “He has a chance to be a big league player.’’
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Andujar will likely begin the 2017 season at Triple-A Scranton, but that doesn’t mean if Chase Headley gets off to one of his well documented slow starts, that the front office won’t be pushing for the well-rounded Andujar to supplant the incumbent 32-year-old third baseman sooner rather than later.
As it stands, Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball recently broke a rumor that Yankees manager Joe Girardi may not have been in favor of resigning Headley after the 2014 campaign.
In response, Heyman said Yankees GM Brian Cashman denied the rumor that the Headley signing was ordered from up above, yet refrained from addressing if Girardi had indeed been against it all along. Cashman called it a “baseball operations decision.”
There were plenty of instances last season where it seemed Girardi was no longer enamored with Headley’s all or nothing playing style, evidenced by his reluctance to replace him with Ronald Torreyes after Headley had been deemed healthy enough to return from a problematic foot injury.
It will be interesting to see how the early months of the ’17 season play out, especially if Andujar is invited to camp and performs better than Headley.
While Headley is still owed 2-years, $26MM–don’t be surprised to see the Yankees look to dump the suddenly fragile ex-Padre. After all, the Baby Bombers could use some young blood at the hot corner if they plan on keeping the kids in play.