Thursday, January 25, 2018
Money might not be the only thing stopping a reunion between the Yankees and Todd Frazier.
It could just be Miguel Andujar’s time.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has repeatedly said Andujar, the team’s 22-year-old top third base prospect, could be in the mix to start Opening Day. Cashman has also put Tyler Wade, Gleyber Torres and Ronald Torreyes in the mix.
So far, there’s been little doubt that Andujar’s bat is big-league ready. Between Double-A and Triple-A, the Dominican Republic native hit .315 with 16 homers and 82 RBI and a .850 OPS.
But there were some concerns about his defense. While he has the tools—a strong arm, athleticism—to excel at the position, there were times in which Andujar’s throws would sail and when his consistency on routine plays was lacking.
Andujar and the Yankees worked hard to address the problems when he got called up in September. He worked nearly every pregame with then-infield coordinator Joe Espada.
CAIRO thinks Andujar can be a league average 3B right now offensively. He projects to hit .263/.315/.425 as his baseline in 550 PA which would be worth 1.8 WAR. Steamer sees him at .266/.311/.426. ZiPS sees him at .267/.307/.432 The question is how much of that would he give back with his glove? If he’s a few runs worse than average, the Yankees can probably live with that. If he’s Nun-E™ Two, Electric Boogaloo, maybe not so much.
I think the Yankees should roll with Andujar to start the year and hope for the best. There is upside with him, and they have plenty of other infield options to fall back on if he falters for whatever reason.
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