Patrick Teale

Miguel Andujar had a breakout season of sorts last year but he wants even more in 2017 and beyond.

Miguel Andujar had the breakout season last year that he and many others had been waiting on, finally putting in a full season from start to finish and setting career-highs in doubles, home runs, walks, and RBIs as a result. He says though that he's not only going to remain that daily focused player going forward but he is striving to be even better in 2017 and beyond.

He hit a career-high .273 last year [highest in the long-season leagues] with 26 doubles, 12 home runs, 83 RBIs, and 39 walks, and did so on the strength of a rare strong first-half too.  In years prior he had always been known as a slower starter, one who normally would heat up in the second halves of his seasons.

"I think it went well because I gave 100 percent all the time," Andujar said through the help of a translator.  "I prepared well and did the right things during the games.

"Last year I tried to give the best of myself all the time.  I was very focused whether it was on offense or defense from day one."

While he didn't come out and say it, there's a part of him that believes he took a few too many at-bats or pitch sequences off in past seasons and he recommitted himself to being focused on every pitch and every play in 2016, and the results speak for themselves.

His newfound focus allowed his game to flourish is so many ways too that it's hard for Andujar to pick just one area of his game that improved the most last season.

"Everything," he said stoically.  "I was working very hard whether it was defensively or offensively."

That hard work actually started in the offseason prior to last season when he reported to camp last year a solid fifteen pounds heavier of good weight and he once again followed his offseason regimen this past year, showing up to Spring Training camp this year noticeably stronger than even a year ago.

"It's going well because I'm working on my objectives that I have to get better on," he said of Spring Training camp.  "I'm putting in the effort everyday on both sides of the ball and that's why I'm comfortable that I'm going to get to the place where I want to go."

This renewed focus by Andujar isn't just temporary either.  This is who he is now, somebody who has always had the physical talents but now knowing that talent alone doesn't get players where there they want to be.

"I'm working on everything," he insisted.  "You have to work on everything offensively and defensively, that's what I've learned over the years...you can't stop working on anything."

In fact, there's isn't just a noticeable difference with Andujar physically these days.  Yes he's bigger and stronger than ever but more importantly it's the internal drive and insatiable desire to improve that are vastly different than his younger days, and he says that is the player he is now and forever.  In four words, he has grown up.

"I don't like to settle.  I'm going to keep giving my 100 percent, try to move on, see the new challenges [head-on], and just get better," he concluded.


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