Miguel Andujar missed most of 2018, but he looks healthy and ready to compete for the New York Yankees’ third-base job.
Miguel Andujar’s value to the New York Yankees has always come down to one question: Can he improve enough defensively to stay at third base? Well, if this offseason workout video has anything to say, that question may finally have an answer.
Miguel Andujar taking ground balls in the Dominican Republic after season-ending right shoulder surgery.@z101digital @ZDeportes pic.twitter.com/QDkL6K5xJl
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) January 8, 2020
Andujar seems to be working on the most infuriating part of his defensive abilities, the double-clutch throw.
In 2018, watching a grounder roll to third base put every Yankees fan on edge. Andujar was plenty capable of picking the ball but the throw to first was anyone’s guess. Andujar has a terrible habit of holding onto the ball too long while preparing to throw. With a professional athlete speeding down the first baseline, it forced Andujar to rush his throws.
That regularly resulted in a fan going home with a souvenir.
In this video, however, Andujar’s motion to second base is smooth and effortless. He simply fields the ball, sets his feet, and rockets a throw right to the chest.
Now, it’s safe to wonder whether or not he’ll still be double-clutching the ball to first. A 24-second video isn’t proof that any of Andujar’s defensive woes are in the rearview mirror. However, if Andujar’s throwing issues to first are cleaned up, he may find himself with the bat in his hands pretty often in 2020.
It’s also worth mentioning that Andujar looks absolutely ripped in this video. Is it possible that his proclivity for doubles will turn into a proclivity for 450-foot long balls? Yankees fans certainly wouldn’t mind seeing that in 2020.