Talk about a fast riser.
Matt Kardos broke the news that the New York Yankees have recalled exciting third base prospect Miguel Andujar from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The move comes just seven games after being promoted to the RailRiders. Already a part of the 40-man roster, the Yankees will simply have to send someone down (or to the DL) to make some room.
The day after Tyler Wade made his big league debut, his teammate is on the Scranton Shuttle to the Bronx. Andujar has some experience on his side, spending parts of six seasons in the minor leagues.
It’s not because he couldn’t handle the game. Andujar was signed in 2011 out of the Dominican Republic at the ripe old age of 16. He climbed the ladder steadily producing at each stop, even with a minor speed bump in 2015 at Tampa, where he didn’t reach expectations. Andujar, always an alluring prospect amongst the Yankees organization, has found his way into the national spotlight over the past two seasons.
A big season in 2016, split between Tampa and Trenton, earned Andujar top 15 billing for our own John Sickels. Here’s what he had to say:
Age 21, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011; hit .273/.332/.410 with 12 homers, 39 walks, 72 strikeouts in 512 at-bats between High-A and Double-A; polarizing prospect; tools are obvious including 70-grade arm and 60-grade raw power but hitting approach is inconsistent, as is his fielding; on the right day he plays like a star but has trouble maintaining consistency with his approach; has been on prospect lists for several years but is still young; upside .280 hitter with power; downside doesn’t get out of Triple-A; ETA 2019.
(For a more detailed analysis, here is my report on Andujar from last June).
Andujar lit it up this season, performing at a level better than he ever had. He was slashing .312/.342/.494 in Trenton with seven home runs and 23 doubles in just 253 at bats. He was promoted to Triple-A just a week ago, and seven games later he is heading to New York. Andujar handled the advanced pitching of the International League with relative ease, slashing .308/.379/.462, even hitting a long ball in his short stay.
The righty, who stands a 6-feet and 215 pounds, is a big-time pull hitter when it comes to his power stroke. But a pretty nice stroke it is. He looks a bit compact, deep in the batter’s box, a little fidgety pre-swing. When he unloads, he takes a pretty defined step and gets his bat quickly, and forcefully, through the zone. He’s aggressive, but has rarely posted worrisome strikeout rates, topping out at 17.3 percent over his career at the full-season level. He also won’t walk a lot, but seems to be able to control the zone enough in his favor.
Despite injuries to the infield, it is a peculiar timing to call up the now-22 year old, right-handed, third base prospect. This is especially so a day after calling up the super-utility speedster Wade. Chase Headley’s struggles are no secret, but he has been tremendous thus far in June, slashing .311/.404/.405 with 11 big RBI. Andujar, who’s most exciting tool may be his arm and defense, is limited to third base.
This likely means a Matt Holliday trip to the DL is on the horizon. With Starlin Castro also down, perhaps the Yankees plan on giving Headley some off days in the field, and seeing what Andujar and Wade can do.
There isn’t much reason to expect the move is permanent right now. He is still young in Yankees years when it comes to most of their prospects. But if Andujar continues to excel at his next stop, as he has at nearly every new challenge he’s faced in his career, Headley’s numbered days in pinstripes could be sped up a bit.