The Yankees signed 16-year old Dominican third baseman for a reported $700,000 back on July 4th, a date Andujar himself won't soon forget.
"I felt happy signing with the Yankees," Andujar said through the help of a translator. "It was the first tryout I did; it was with the Yankees and they actually wound up signing me."
Though he tried out for several teams, he signed with New York in early July and spent the remainder of the summer working out at the Yankees' Dominican complex in Boca Chica.
"I never played in official games down there but I was down there for three months at the academy doing the program everyday," he said. "Some days they would put me into live BP's, pitchers throwing at me, that's what I've been doing the last three months."
He never got into an official game and yet he was one of two players at the academy to comes States-side for Instructs in Tampa.
"I'm happy. That was my goal – get signed, work out, and make it here. I worked out a lot those three months and when they gave me that invitation [to come to the States] I was really happy. I wasn't surprised though."
Whether he was personally surprised or not, it isn't often a player with so little in-game experience is asked to come to Instructs in Tampa. But then again, Andujar, at least confidence-wise, isn't a normal player.
"My offense is better, my bat is better," he admitted. "I hit line drives to all parts of the field, to the gaps. The offspeed pitches have been okay. I haven't had any problems with them. I stay back on almost all of the pitches."
As impressive as his confidence has been, so has been his advanced ability to lay off of, and even hit, better offspeed pitches already. In fact it is his rather polished offensive game that can allow him to focus on the other side of the ball.
"More defense than anything; my footwork, my setup, and my throwing," he said of the things he has been working on since he signed. "My arm was a little low so they have me putting it up a little more on the throws over to first base."
Knocking a home run and some doubles in his two weeks at Instructs didn't come as a surprise to the 16-year old and it's his advanced offensive game that has him believing that he will be able to officially begin his professional career in the United States next season.
"Yeah I'm going to work hard for that," he admitted. "It hasn't surprised me. I've been hitting since I was little and I always make good contact with the ball."
Andujar Confident In His Bat
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