Andujar Working On Everything

Seventeen year old third baseman Miguel Andujar, last year's top International free agent sign, skipped the Dominican Summer League entirely and made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Yankees this year. He took it as a learning year and is geared towards making improvements in all facets of his game going forward.

"For it being my first time here in the States I don't think I did too bad," Andujar said through the help of a translator. "It was a learning process. I've never played this level of competition before and for all of that I think I did okay."

He hit a modest .232 and committed 14 errors in 50 games with the GCL Yankees. Physically gifted with a quick bat, a strong arm, and some impressive wheels for a corner infielder, just as is the case with most first-year pros, it was the mental side of things that caught him off guard.

"My mentality, being ready mentally for each game and staying focused," he listed as the area he could have done better. "I feel like in some of the games I lacked the focus that I needed but that's something that I'm working on now so that next year I'll be a little more focused and prepared for every game."

Not all eventual top prospects begin their professional careers in ringing fashion right out of the gate. For some, like Andujar, that first year is all about taking everything in.

"One of the biggest things I learned this year was the situations; where to cover, where to play, how to move, the cutoff man, situations at third base -- when to play in, when to play back, those are things that I've never done before so that was something very big for me to learn. That was one of the most important things for me this year."

His growth just wasn't on the defensive side, however. Normally a very good hitter who uses all fields, he also fell into the trap so many young prospects become victimized by and that's trying to do too much at the plate.

A little too pull happy for his own taste, the good news for Andujar is that he quickly recognized his offensive shortcomings and now knows he needs to get back to basics.

"The position of my front foot, my stride, making sure it goes towards the pitcher and not open, and making sure I don't chase pitches out of the strike zone which I tended to do a bit this year, those are areas of focus because I'd pull toward third base and my head would come out," he admitted.

"Now I'm trying to keep my head down on the ball, be selective, and focus on hitting back up the middle."

It isn't all just mental and mechanical though. Standing 6-foot and weighing just 180 pounds, and playing a power-hitting position like third base, he knows hitting the gym hard is yet another item on his things to do list.

"I have to get stronger," he said flatly. "I know it's a position of power, I know I'm going to have to drive in runs and hit home runs. That's something I'm going to be working on this offseason, getting stronger."

If it sounds as if he wants to work on all phases of his game it's because that's his plan. So while most of the Yankee prospects are honing in on a particular area of their game this Instructional League season, Andujar, who made noticeable strides at Instructs in Tampa before going to Instructional League in the Dominican Republic these days, is working on all aspects.

"I want to work on my physical body as well as work on my arm strength. That's what I want to focus on to be prepared as well as what I've learned here with the bat.

"I always want to get better. You can't get complacent. If you're complacent in this game you're not going to go anywhere.

"I just have to keep working hard to get better, stronger, focus on my batting, and on my defensive work or else I'm not going to be going anywhere," he concluded.

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"For it being my first time here in the States I don't think I did too bad,\" Andujar said through the help of a translator. \"It was a learning process. I've never played this level of competition before and for all of that I think I did okay.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe hit a modest .232 and committed 14 errors in 50 games with the GCL Yankees. Physically gifted with a quick bat, a strong arm, and some impressive wheels for a corner infielder, just as is the case with most first-year pros, it was the mental side of things that caught him off guard.
\r\n
\r\n\"My mentality, being ready mentally for each game and staying focused,\" he listed as the area he could have done better. \"I feel like in some of the games I lacked the focus that I needed but that's something that I'm working on now so that next year I'll be a little more focused and prepared for every game.\"
\r\n
\r\nNot all eventual top prospects begin their professional careers in ringing fashion right out of the gate. For some, like Andujar, that first year is all about taking everything in.
\r\n
\r\n\"One of the biggest things I learned this year was the situations; where to cover, where to play, how to move, the cutoff man, situations at third base -- when to play in, when to play back, those are things that I've never done before so that was something very big for me to learn. That was one of the most important things for me this year.\"
\r\n
\r\nHis growth just wasn't on the defensive side, however. Normally a very good hitter who uses all fields, he also fell into the trap so many young prospects become victimized by and that's trying to do too much at the plate.
\r\n
\r\nA little too pull happy for his own taste, the good news for Andujar is that he quickly recognized his offensive shortcomings and now knows he needs to get back to basics.
\r\n
\r\n\"The position of my front foot, my stride, making sure it goes towards the pitcher and not open, and making sure I don't chase pitches out of the strike zone which I tended to do a bit this year, those are areas of focus because I'd pull toward third base and my head would come out,\" he admitted.
\r\n
\r\n\"Now I'm trying to keep my head down on the ball, be selective, and focus on hitting back up the middle.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt isn't all just mental and mechanical though. Standing 6-foot and weighing just 180 pounds, and playing a power-hitting position like third base, he knows hitting the gym hard is yet another item on his things to do list.
\r\n
\r\n\"I have to get stronger,\" he said flatly. \"I know it's a position of power, I know I'm going to have to drive in runs and hit home runs. That's something I'm going to be working on this offseason, getting stronger.\"
\r\n
\r\nIf it sounds as if he wants to work on all phases of his game it's because that's his plan. So while most of the Yankee prospects are honing in on a particular area of their game this Instructional League season, Andujar, who made noticeable strides at Instructs in Tampa before going to Instructional League in the Dominican Republic these days, is working on all aspects.
\r\n
\r\n\"I want to work on my physical body as well as work on my arm strength. That's what I want to focus on to be prepared as well as what I've learned here with the bat.
\r\n
\r\n\"I always want to get better. You can't get complacent. If you're complacent in this game you're not going to go anywhere.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just have to keep working hard to get better, stronger, focus on my batting, and on my defensive work or else I'm not going to be going anywhere,\" he concluded.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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