Miguel Andujar received high praise for his hitting ability during his time in the minor leagues, and his first month in the majors this season certainly backed up the scouting reports. The 23-year-old exploded onto the scene with 16 extra base hits in April, finishing the month with an .869 OPS. Many assumed Andujar’s sudden success would spell the end for the recovering Brandon Drury.
However, Andujar has cooled down a bit in May, at least in terms of hitting for power. The extra base hits have died down, save for a breakout game on Sunday in Kansas City, where Andujar drilled a home run and triple in a Yankee victory. Those two extra base hits were just the second and third so far this month, as Andujar’s slugging percentage in May currently sits at just .375.
While Andujar may not be punishing the baseball like he did in April, he has still shown his usefulness in the Yankees’ lineup, highlighted by a current 10-game stretch where Andujar has recorded at least one hit in nine of those contests. He may not be driving in runs like he did in the first month of the season, but he is still getting on base for the other hot Yankee bats to drive him in, as his 10 runs scored this month shows. Andujar scored 10 runs in all of April.
Looking closely at the numbers, not much has been different for Andujar in the past calendar month. His strikeout rate is virtually the same as it was in April (19.8 percent in April, 19.7 percent in May, both below league average), and he is still making solid contact. His hard contact percentage in May is in line with his April percentage, while his soft contact percentage (15.4 percent) is actually 10 percent less than it was in April. Despite the decline in power numbers, Andujar is still showing the ability to make solid contact.
One of the only noticeable discrepancies between Andujar’s performance in April and May would be his ground ball rate. His ground ball percentage in April finished at 43.3 percent, and currently stands at 55.8 percent in May. So, while Andujar continues to square up the baseball, he may be struggling to get enough lift on the ball to satisfy the current launch angle craze, which would definitely lead to fewer doubles and home runs.
There hasn’t been the same type of massive production that we saw from Andujar in April, but the young third baseman is still contributing. His play at the hot corner has been surprisingly reliable, while his bat has lived up to the hype. The extra base hits have quieted down, but expecting his April pace to continue would have been unfair. With Brandon Drury currently hitting to a .911 OPS in Triple-A, Andujar will have to continue to show his worth at the bottom of the lineup to prevent relentless roster questions.