Miguel Andujar was signed by the New York Yankees on July 2, 2011, at 16 years old out of the Dominican Republic. Andujar received the highest bonus in the Yankees’ 2011-12 international class as he signed for $750,000 and jumped straight to the Gulf Coast League to make his professional debut the following year. Andujar was the New York Yankees #16 prospect last year, but he enters the 2018 season as the #7 prospect in the team’s system according to Pinstriped Prospects.
At 17 years old, Andujar made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League and appeared in 50 games where he hit .232/.288/.299 with nine doubles and a home run. Andujar finished the season with 41 hits in 177 at-bats, while walking 13 times and driving in 19 runs.
After struggling in his first professional season, Andujar returned to the Gulf Coast League for his sophomore campaign, and this time he found his groove. In 34 games during his age 18 season, Andujar raked at the plate for a slash line of .323/.368/.496 with 11 doubles and four dingers. He finished the season with 43 hits and 25 RBIs.
Andujar’s breakout season in 2013 earned him a promotion to the Class-A (Low) Charleston RiverDogs to start the 2014 season. In 127 games with Charleston, Andujar hit .267/.318/.397 with 25 doubles, four triples, and 10 homers. He drove in 70 runs on 129 hits and showed excellent plate discipline with 35 walks.
After another stellar season, Andujar was promoted once again and began the 2015 season with the Class-A (Advanced) Tampa Yankees. Andujar appeared in 130 games for the Tampa Yankees and hit .243/.288/.363 with 24 doubles, five triples, and he finished the year second on the team in home runs (eight) and RBIs (57). He also had 118 hits, drew 29 walks, and stole 12 bases.
The Yankees invited Andujar to Major League Spring Training as a non-roster player. In just three games of action with the big league club, Andujar finished with only four plate appearances and did not record a hit or draw a walk.
After spring training, Andujar opened the season in Tampa. However, he would only last 58 games there before he was promoted again. In those 58 games, Andujar led the team and the Florida State League with 41 RBIs. He also led the team (and was second in the FSL) in home runs (10) and total bases (109). In that time, Andujar put together a slash line of .283/.343/.474 with 10 doubles and two triples on 65 hits. Andujar also showed improvement in the field where he committed only seven errors and brought his fielding percentage up to a career-best .947.
On June 14, 2016, Andujar was assigned to the Double-A Trenton Thunder. In 72 games with the Thunder to complete the 2016 season, Andujar hit .266/.323/.358 with 16 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 42 RBIs. He finished with 75 hits and walked 21 times.
Andujar’s combined numbers in 2016 put him on the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League after the Thunder’s season had ended. Andujar appeared in 19 games with the Scorpions where he hit .284/.364/.373 with two doubles and two triples, scored 10 runs and drove in five.
On Nov. 18, 2016, the Yankees added Andujar to their 40-man roster so that he would be protected in the Rule-5 draft.
In 21 at-bats to open Major League Spring Training, Andujar slashed .286/.318/.476 with two doubles and a triple. He also drove in a run, scored four times, and walked.
Andujar was optioned to Double-A Trenton on March 15 to open the season where he played in 67 games. While with the Thunder, Andujar hit .312 with seven dingers, a triple, 23 doubles, and 52 RBIs. On June 19, Andujar was promoted to Triple-A Scranton where he continued to shine. In 227 at-bats with the RailRiders, Andujar slashed .317/.364/.502 with nine home runs and 30 RBIs.
Andujar was also recalled to the big-league club twice throughout the season. In his first action with the Yankees, Andujar put his sweet swing on full display in Chicago during a series against the White Sox in late June. After that series, he was sent back down to Scranton before being called back up again in September. In total, Andujar appeared in five games with the Yankees, and in seven at-bats he finished with four hits (two doubles), four RBIs, and a stolen base.
Andujar will celebrate his 23rd birthday on March 2, and what pops out most about the 6-foot, 215-pound righty is his ability to hit for power at the plate – although he has shown he can also hit for average – and his exceptional arm in the field.
On a 20-80 scouting scale, MLB.com gave Andujar a 55 power (hitting) grade and a 70 for arm strength. And those are the two tools you want in your third baseman.
Andujar has also shown great range and soft hands at the hot corner, however, he has struggled with accuracy on his throws to first base. In 2014 and 2015 he committed 26 errors, in 2016, he committed 22, but last year he showed improvement and brought that number down to 17 (combined).
In his three games last year with the New York Yankees (nine innings in the field), Andujar did not commit any errors.
The Yankees currently have openings at second and third base, and general manager Brian Cashman has already told the media that he is “ready to go with what we have.” That puts Andujar right at the forefront of the discussion for internal third base options — should the team maintain a current status quo heading into Spring Training.
There were never questions about Andujar’s bat. However, the chatter surrounding the third-base prospect always questioned his ability to play defense. Improving his play in the field, and his throws to first, were a priority for Andujar entering the last two seasons, and his numbers reflect that the extra work has paid off. Andujar’s errors have gone down steadily since 2015, and his overall play at the hot corner has become more robust.
It remains to be seen what Cashman will do to address the current holes in the infield (although second base seems to belong to Gleyber Torres), but with the likes of Tyler Wade, Thairo Estrada, and Andujar knocking on the door there’s no reason to think the positions won’t be filled internally. That would put Andujar as a leading candidate for the big-league job and if he doesn’t get it out of spring, expect him to report to Scranton and be ready for a call-up at a moment’s notice.