Yankees universe has a foot fetish for Miguel Andujar

Manager Joe Girardi (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Manager Joe Girardi (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /
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The Yankees Miguel Andujar has used his strong arms to vie for a spot as a top prospect. But now all that matters are his feet.

The Yankees rebuilt this team on powerful arms. They have filled the system with flame-throwing pitchers and home run hitters, such as Aaron Judge, Jorge Guzman, Clint Frazier and Luis Severino. When the Yankees conceived of this team, they thought only of powerful hitters and hard throwers.

Miguel Andujar fits that profile exactly.

Andujar’s quick bat and strong throwing arm have carried him on quite a journey in the last twelve months. Before the 2016 season, Miguel was ranked as only the Yankees 18th best player, behind such players such as Mason Williams (12), Kyle Holder (9), and the recently removed Rob Refsnyder (4).

He deserved that designation as he was coming off back-to-back years of committing 26 errors and had a reputation as a slow starter. Andujar changed at least part of the narrative in 2016. He got off to a great start and never stopped hitting.

His work at Tampa–.283/.343/.474, ten home runs, 18 walks, and 30 strikeouts—earned Andujar a promotion to Double-A.

Two Steps Up, One Back

The then 21-year old regressed a bit against tougher competition, which is natural. He slashed just .266/.323/.358 over his final 282 at-bats. And while he only hit two more home runs, he still finished with twelve for the year. He also decreased his errors slightly, committing 22 for all of the 2016 season.

One part of Andujar’s story that did not change was his throwing arm. Miguel has a,

"“cannon of an arm”, and is, “easily the best and most advanced hot-corner prospect in New York’s deep system.”"

The combination was good enough for the Yankees. They sent him to the Arizona Fall League where he was named a Rising Star.

That would be a great year for any prospect. But if 2016 gave us a promise of things to come, 2017 has fulfilled it. And Miguel Andujar has gone from promising prospect to Yankee’s future lynchpin.