Name: Miguel Andujar
Position: Third Baseman
DOB: March 2, 1995
Batting and Power. Andujar has nearly everything in place to be a potentially high-average hitter down the road, including plus bat speed and advanced pitch recognition for a hitter his age. He also shows the requisite blend of patience and aggressiveness at the plate too, a line not easily walked by young hitters. Where he hasn't been able to bring all of those high-level traits together production-wise is from a consistency standpoint; he can still often times try to do too much at the plate and that hasn't allowed the ability to be consistent to peak just yet. When he sticks to his plan of taking what the pitchers give him and driving balls from gap to gap he is at his absolute best but when he gets a little home run happy and attempts to yank pitches 500 feet down the line it expands his zone, makes him more susceptible to offspeed stuff out of the zone, and cracks away at his ability to be consistent. The physical and mental tools are there to avoid such pitfalls, he just needs to be more consistently disciplined. The power grades out as average overall with long-term above average potential as he continues to fill out a still very projectable frame but, still only 21 years old, worrying about power should be the last thing on his mind.
Base Running and Speed. We've mentioned over the years that Andujar, an average runner overall, was quicker than most corner infielders and he went out and stole a very respectable 12 stolen bases last year. That's more his actual range, perhaps even showing the quickness, agility, and base running smarts to maybe even cap out around 20 swipes once his on-base abilities improve. Running station to station, however, he is above average and is quite solid overall in the running game.
Defense. Critics have been hung up on Andujar's rather high error totals coming up through the minor leagues as some sort of evidence that he doesn't have premium defensive abilities when he absolutely does. He has all of the physical tools to be a plus defender; plus arm strength, above average athleticism and range, and soft hands. What he doesn't have and what he is still trying to get is more in-game reps and experience. Like most young players he still makes the fool-hearted attempt to gun down runners from time to time on plays where he's better served just eating the ball and that's an aspect of his game that should get smoothed out over time. He has tangible Gold Glove caliber defensive abilities.
Projection. With natural hitting ability, average or better power potential, plus arm strength, average speed, and plus defensive potential, Andujar has all of the tools in place to be quite special on both sides of the ball and he knows it. In fact, while the confidence is a major factor in why he is considered one of the better prospects, ironically, that confidence has also worked against him at times too through the early part of his career. Because he feels he can make any play or hit any ball it gets him away from his game at times as he attempts to do too much and that's when the mistakes start creeping into his game and takes away from his natural ability to be consistent. Time, reps, and experience are the only remedies to bring the consistency to a higher level and in essence bring his game to the next level. If he's able to make that next step in his development he not only has big league starting third base potential but even a higher ceiling than that. It may take some more time for the potential to be realized but there is an Adrian Beltre-like ceiling if everything clicks together for him. Staying within himself consistently is a big ticket towards tapping that ceiling.
ETA. 2018. Plagued by slow starts in his career to date, while Andujar's ceiling hasn't changed at all over the years what has changed is his potential big league arrival time. He is still very young -- he actually turns 21 on Tuesday, March 2nd -- and has continually played against much older competition ever since signing with the Yankees. He should get a steady diet of Double-A at-bats in 2016 where he will still be one of the youngest players and if/when that consistency begins to show up he could be a quick mover from there because his game isn't all that far off from being big league ready.