One of the New York Yankees’ top prospects Miguel Andujar‘s 2018 season will help Brian Cashman decide where to allocate his precious spending money during the star-studded 2018 Free Agency class.
Andujar was recently optioned to Triple A-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to begin the season. At the beginning of spring training, he was making a strong case to win the third base position. He showcased his jaw-dropping power by hitting four home runs however by the time he was optioned his slash line dipped to .262/.273/.643 in just 42 at-bats.
Although the third baseman won’t make the 25-man roster to begin the season, it seems more than likely that the talented youngster will get a call-up to the Bronx at some point during the 2018 season.
Cashman longed for former Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Brandon Drury, and this past offseason he was finally able to execute a trade for Drury. Last season in 445 plate appearances Drury slashed .267/.317/.447, however, Cashman believes there is a lot of untapped potential left in the 25 year old.
To start training camp, Cashman stated that due to Drury’s experience in the majors the last two season that he had a leg up on Andujar and now that Andujar has been optioned it appears that third base is his.
Although Drury appears to have won the position, it is imperative that Cashman is able to see Andujar in the majors for a good chunk of the season. If Andujar is able to come to the Bronx and play a solid third base while displaying his ability at the plate than Cashman may decide that it’s not worth paying someone like Manny Machado.
There appears to be a difference of opinion between scouts on the deficiencies in Andujar’s glove. While some think it is a real problem others believe that it isn’t as big of a deal as some make it out to be. Last season the Red Sox were in a similar predicament with Rafael Devers and his bat appeared to outweigh the issues with his defense.
So the question that presents itself is this, if Andujar gets enough time in the majors to properly evaluate the player against MLB competition what do the Yankees do with the impending free agent class. Do the Yankees still pursue Machado and package Andujar with other prospects in a trade, or do they count on the youngster panning out and go after frontline starters to bolster their starting rotation.
Another possibility, while it appears unlikely, is that Cashman throws his checkbook at the extremely talented Bryce Harper. Harper has been rumored to the Chicago Cubs due to the fact that his childhood friend as well as NL MVP Kris Bryant is on the team. as well as the fact that his dog is named Wrigley.
While it is unknown what Cashman is thinking to do after the season it is extremely important that Andujar gets the opportunity to showcase his talents and prove to the Yankees’ organization why he is their future third baseman for years to come.