He hit a robust .323 with eleven doubles and four home runs in just 34 Gulf Coast League games this year, improving on his batting average by 91 points from the year prior and having more extra-base hits in 16 less games played.
"I worked hard and it paid off," he said through the help of a translator. "I had a good year in the Gulf Coast League and in Extended [Spring Training]."
His hard work actually began at Instructs a year ago though. He recognized his need for using the whole field more and he made that a priority over the offseason. Andujar also realized he needed to get stronger and he put on nearly 15 pounds of muscle before the year began.
Absolutely crushing the ball in Extended Spring Training, the only thing that could hold him back, and eventually did, was an injury. A mishap sliding back into first base in Extended led to an ankle sprain.
"I felt a little down but I got the time off that I needed and [then] I was able to play, and I played pretty good."
He obviously would have liked to play the entire Gulf Coast League season but he used his time off the field to better prepare himself for when he would eventually return.
"My mental approach got a lot better during the games," he said. "It helped me in and out of the games too, I was more mentally focused."
Despite his youth, he began to understand the importance of the mental game, an aspect that is sometimes lost in the game's younger prospects. It isn't just about showing up and playing in games, it's about getting into a professional demeanor and getting your work in.
"I'm just continuing to work on the daily routines and my mechanics, and my defense, just perfect those as much as I can."
Offensively the improvements he made in one short year were very obvious. While his eleven errors in the field might not exactly show it, he is getting more consistent defensively too.
"I'm not there yet," he admitted. "There's more work to do with my mechanics, my footwork. I want to be a little more assertive and that's why I'm working on the mechanics a lot."
A good sign in any ball player is to not be content in any accomplishment, to have that insatiable desire and firm belief that one can still get better in every area of the game.
Andujar approaches his development in this very same manner and it is very evident that he is growing up and transforming himself from a talented youngster to a burgeoning professional athlete.
"I'm going to work a lot in the offseason and get a lot stronger for next season. Obviously I'm still working on my mental game.
"It's better now and hopefully my mechanics will continue to get better. That's my approach though, bring it all together [next year]," he concluded.
Andujar Growing Up
Pinstripes Plus Top Stories
Scouting Yankees Prospect #16: Taylor WidenerThe Yankees drafted right-handed pitcher Taylor Widener in the 12th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of South Carolina. He not only put up some incredibly…
Pinstripes PlusYesterday at 8:47 PM
Top Six Underrated Upper-Level ArmsThe likes of Chance Adams, Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Holder, Dietrich Enns, and others have consistently grabbed all of the upper-level pitching headlines for the Yankees in…
Pinstripes PlusThursday at 8:39 PM
Scouting Yankees Prospect #17: Nick NelsonThe Yankees drafted right-handed pitcher Nick Nelson in the 4th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Gulf Coast State University in Florida. Statistically it wasn't a great debut…
Pinstripes PlusWednesday at 8:39 PM
Scouting Yankees Prospect #18: Domingo GermanThe Yankees acquired right-handed pitcher Domingo German as part of a package in the Nathan Eovaldi-David Phelps trade with the Marlins in the winter of 2014. He missed his first…
Pinstripes PlusTuesday at 8:41 PM