New York Yankees: Top five prospects in 2018
4. Miguel Andujar – 3B. Hit: 60 l Power: 60 l Run: 45 l Arm: 70 l Field: 50 l Overall: 60.
Andujar is finally receiving universal respect among scouts after being perhaps the most underrated prospect in the Yankees system the last couple years. Although his bat is now receiving praise, I believe the Yankees are still a bit higher on both his contact ability and power than others.
Andujar has earned the reputation of being an aggressive hacker who is able to put the bat on the ball and hit bullets. Before 2017, he was regarded as having plus raw power that wasn’t yet translating to in-game power, but this past season he was able to elevate the ball and the results showed, as he hit a career-high 16 home runs in 125 games.
However, there are two flaws to Miguel’s game that have some reserved on whether or not he should be the Yankees starting 3B. One is his overall approach as a hitter, as he tends to be a free-swinger (albeit one who recognizes pitches and rarely misses) who rarely walks. This limits his overall potential, but if he can refine his approach, Andujar can learn to dictate the at-bat which could turn him into a better player than scouts predict.
Second, his glovework at 3B needs some fine-tuning but he does have a cannon for an arm. The Yankees trade of Chase Headley and letting Todd Frazier go signaled their confidence in the rookie until they were able to pry away Brandon Drury. According to Jon Heyman of Fanrag, they also resisted including him in any Gerrit Cole trade.
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However, it will be interesting to see where his future with the Yankees will lie. I believe that Manny Machado is their preferred man at the hot corner (if he is willing to move back), but they may elect to sign Bryce Harper over him or neither at all, leaving an opening for Andujar. Drury could also breakout and make Andujar superfluous unless Greg Bird’s injuries continue and the Yankees convert Andujar to first.
There seems to be little doubt they would prefer Florial and Sheffield over Andujar because of Florial’s superstar potential and Sheffield’s potential to be the lefty anchor to opposite Severino. Nevertheless, Andujar is a borderline untouchable in the Yankee system given his pedigree and the potential opening at 3B.