The Arizona Fall League is roughly halfway over, and the Fall Star Game was held on Saturday. Yesterday, I provided an update on the Yankees pitchers in the AFL, and this article will focus on how the Yankees hitters are doing.
The third baseman excelled in High-A this season, mashing 10 home runs before earning a promotion to Double-A. His performance fell off a bit in Trenton, but he is hitting well so far in the AFL. Notably, his strikeout rate is down to 8.9%, and his walk rate is up to 16.1%. Through 46 at-bats, Andujar is batting .326/.429/.413. However, 12 of his 15 hits are singles. Andujar also ended up earning a spot on the Fall Star roster after winning the fan vote. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk in that game.
In February, the Yankees announced that Bird would be forced to undergo surgery to repair a right shoulder labrum tear. As a result of that injury, Bird missed the entire 2016 season. The good news is that he appears to be healthy now. Bird hit four doubles during his first three games in Arizona. He has cooled off a bit since the start of the AFL, but he does have a triple and a homer. He is currently slashing .204/.338/.370, and more than half of his 11 hits have been extra-base hits.
The main concern is that he stays healthy, so there is no real point in worrying about AFL numbers. Bird won’t need to prove himself until spring training, when he will reportedly compete with Tyler Austin to earn the role of starting first baseman.
After just an okay season in Trenton, Wade is not playing particularly well in Arizona. Keeping in mind that AFL numbers don’t count for much, Wade is hitting .172/.351/.241 over 37 plate appearances. Curiously, he has drawn eight walks, and has nine strikeouts. The shortstop has also been spending time in the outfield because the Yankees simply have an abundance of shortstops.
The Yankees acquired Torres in the deal that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs. The young shortstop is arguably the best prospect in the system now, and he has been swinging a hot bat in Arizona so far. Through 39 at-bats, Torres is hitting .308/.426/.590 with three home runs. Again, these numbers don’t necessarily mean that he will have an extraordinary 2017 season, but he has hit well enough to be named to the AFL Fall Star roster. Torres was selected to represent the Yankees at the All-Star Game along with Dillon Tate (who was later mysteriously removed from the roster). It wasn’t the best of games for Torres, who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Bonus: Tim Tebow has generated a lot of buzz, somehow, but it remains to be seen if he can actually play baseball. He is slashing .135/.179/.162 through 37 at-bats. He has exactly five hits, and he injured his leg sliding into second base a few days ago. At least all of the Yankees are hitting better than Tebow.