Not a troll. Not content to rile up the readers. Simply … a question some New York Yankees fans might have after what they’ve seen from both Joey Gallo and Miguel Andújar over the past two seasons.
Without exaggeration, Gallo has become one of the worst players in the sport. In fact, the Yankees, leading the AL East, employ THREE of the worst players in the sport on a near-nightly basis in Gallo, Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka. We wish we were exaggerating. We are sad.
Over the past year, fans have been subject to the Yankees giving playing time to far too many inadequate names. Clint Frazier was among the three worst players in baseball last year before he was exiled. Andújar roamed the corner outfield spots at the same time before he was optioned. Gleyber Torres was arguably the game’s worst starting shortstop. Again, can’t believe we are saying this.
But as it pertains to Andújar’s showing in the outfield, coupled with Gallo’s arrival and subsequent inability to really do much of anything, we may now have enough of a sample size to compare the two.
Since the middle of 2021, Gallo’s been here for 98 games. Since the start of 2020, Andújar’s been here for 74 games (both as of May 31). They have both played most of their defense in left field, with Gallo getting some action in right and Andújar seeing some first and third base.
Sadly for all the Gallo fans out there, there’s unfortunately no argument to be had on the offensive side of the ball. Even a bad version of Andújar has been better than the Yankees version of Gallo.
Is there really a defensive difference between Joey Gallo and Miguel Andújar in left field?
Now for defensive metrics time! The blind test!
- Player A: -0.3 dWAR, 2 DRS, 3 Outs Above Average
- Player B: -0.6 dWAR, 0 DRS, -4 Outs Above Average
In a rare win for Gallo, he is Player A. However, this is Gold Glove Outfielder Joey Gallo vs Converted Third Baseman Miguel Andújar … so do with that what you will.
Additionally, most of Andújar’s numbers are weighed down by his dreadful showing in the outfield from 2020, which was his first professional season logging reps out there after Gio Urshela took his starting third base job. However, it’s best to keep that in the sample size to make the amount of games more comparable rather than skewed.
Then again, in 2022, Andújar’s contributions on both sides of the ball have him good for a 0.2 WAR, whereas Gallo is -0.2. In just eight games, Andújar has given the Yankees the lead with one of his hits, extended the Yankees’ lead from one runs to three runs by putting another ball in play, and made this diving grab in left field:
Gallo, in left field with the Yankees, has four errors across 83 games and just three in his previous 156 at the position with the Texas Rangers. Additionally, 29 runners have advanced to an extra base when he makes a play in left field for the Yankees vs 58 in his previous 156 games with Texas. That doesn’t seem skewed … until you realized he’s fielded just 273 balls with the Yankees vs 573 with Texas!
There’s a real issue here. It’s unclear what is it. And by no means is this an endorsement to start Miguel Andújar in left field now. However, it could be the beginning of a future warning sign for Gallo and his future in pinstripes.