The “hot corner” of the diamond, otherwise known as third base, is regarded as one of the hardest positions to play in baseball. in today's game it's Kris Bryant, Adrian Beltre, and Josh Donaldson that are considered the top of their position. Although these stars are regarded as being some of the top players in baseball, the minor league system has the next generation of capable and willing athletes fighting to get a call-up to the big leagues. One of those athletes who is tearing up the diamond, is currently heating up in Double-A Trenton, 22-year-old Miguel Andujar.
Andujar, a rising prospect, is certainly a candidate for an everyday role at the Major League Level someday. He is currently on the Yankees 40-man roster, which includes all of the major league players and a select few of prospects that are in contention of a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre and beyond. Despite a tendency of slow starts out of the gate in the past, by May, the weather isn't the only thing that is starting to heat up.
”Yes, absolutely I feel like I'm ready,” Andujar said through the help of a translator on the possibility of being promoted to Triple-A baseball. With being on the Yankees 40 man roster, that possibility could very much become a reality. “All I can do is to keep working hard, so whenever they call me to go up, I'm ready.”
Since his promotion to Double-A baseball around this time last season, the impact he has made for the Trenton ball club has been tremendous. Both offensively and defensively, his presence has been felt. Buzz has been circulating all around Andujar since his promotion to Double-A and the numbers certainly paint a definitive picture. Currently he is batting .306 with seven home runs and 47 runs batted in, which ranks him at number one in the Eastern League in RBIs this season.
One key consistency in Andujar’s game is when he does get the promotion, he adapts to the new competition eventually and then crushes them. When he was promoted to Single-A Tampa at the start of 2015 season, he spent the entire year causing headaches for opposing pitchers by hitting 24 doubles and 8 home runs. Then, after starting 2016 in Tampa and getting off to a superb start, he was promoted to Double-A Trenton around this time last season. For the remainder of the 2016 season he drove in 42 and registered 16 doubles.
His campaign with the Thunder in 2017, again started off a little slower than anyone anticipated. In the months of May and June however, he has been lighting it up. He has raised his batting average to .306 from .250 since the end of April, hitting a whopping .338 since May 1st, a streak that also included a 16-game hitting streak.
“He is a really good hitter and none of us are surprised by what he is doing,” Trenton hitting coach Tom Slater said. “He is just getting better each day. I've really been impressed with his pitch recognition and he's been hitting the ball well in all parts of the park. It's been fun to watch.”
His recent domination at the plate in his return trip to the Eastern League has been reminiscent of his second stint in the Florida State League a year ago. To say Andujar has become comfortable at the Double-A level might be quite the understatement.
“He's obviously gaining a lot of confidence both offensively and defensively," Trenton Thunder manager Bobby Mitchell said. "During this streak, there is no panic in his at-bats, he is working the count. We expect him to continue what he's been doing. He's just getting better and better.”
Andujar feels as though this season is a step up from his monstrous year last season in Tampa, which was good enough show the Yankees organization he deserved the before mentioned 40-man-roster spot this past offseason.
“I feel better than last year," Andujar opined. "I'm in a good place right now. I'm always trying to get better, always trying to improve. I feel really good right now, staying with my routine has gotten me ready to play. I feel really good physically and I feel strong right now. I feel good in all areas, even defensively I feel good.”
As good as Andujar has been, including leading the Yankees farm system in doubles  and RBIs  as well as collecting multi-hit games in 10 his last 16 games, Slater also believes that Andujar has another level that he can achieve, a higher plateau that he can reach.
“He is an incredibly great kid, with a great heart and passion for the game. He is just scratching the surface," Slater said. " There is more to come.”
That plateau that Miguel Andujar could reach is a mystery as of right now. There is no definitive answer on how far he will go or how high he will reach. There is one thing that is certain however, there is a dynamic and eager third baseman in Trenton that has tremendous talent who has been on fire in recent months. Only time will tell just how far he will go, but in all likelihood, he could go all the way someday but seems ready to move on the next level sometime soon.