Yankees third baseman Miguel Andújar is Sporting Information’ 2018 American League Rookie of the 12 months, as chosen by means of a panel of 99 AL gamers. SN has given out Rookie of the 12 months awards since 1946.
Miguel Andújar’s storybook rookie season began and ended unexpectedly.
The story begins as many fantasy tales do: As soon as upon a time, Brandon Drury was named the Yankees’ third baseman for the 2018 season. Some DL stints and a commerce to the Blue Jays later, Andújar discovered himself because the beginning third baseman. Then got here the manufacturing: Andújar would go on to dwell as much as his top-prospect billing, launching 27 lengthy balls to assist a historic Yankee offense.
Following the ALDS Recreation Four loss to the Pink Sox which ended the Yankees’ season, Andújar cleaned out his locker and headed for the clubhouse exit. As he left, he exuded the identical qualities as he did following wins all season — a quiet confidence and even-keeled demeanor, two qualities which are uncommon to search out in first-year gamers.
Whereas the Yankees’ season ended on a bitter be aware, at the least Andújar helped pen a optimistic chapter: He is the 2018 Sporting Information American League Rookie of the 12 months.
A history-making season for the Yankees noticed 267 residence runs launched for a brand new MLB report, and Andújar was a giant a part of that, launching 27 dingers of his personal. Andújar takes residence the SN rookie honors on the power of these 27 residence runs, a .297/.328/.855 slash line and 92 RBIs. Andújar additionally set the report for doubles by a Yankee rookie with 47, surpassing Joe DiMaggio’s 44 in 1936.
The third baseman obtained 61 of 99 votes tallied; Japanese star Shoehei Ohtani (19 votes) and Rays outfielder Joey Wendle (11 votes) rounded out the highest three in voting.
Andújar’s affect did not come as a suprise to a few of his Yankee teammates.
“Even within the minor leagues, once I performed with him at a younger age, I noticed the potential,” Aaron Decide, the 2017 SN Rookie of the Year, instructed Sporting Information. “I stated, ‘Man, that child’s gonna be one thing particular down the highway.'”
Particular is one phrase to explain Andújar’s rookie season. He finds himself in an extended line of younger Bomber expertise, turning into the 10th Yankee rookie to earn the SN award; he joins pinstripe alumni Whitey Ford (1950), Bob Grim (1954), Tony Kubek (1957), Ryne Duren (1958), Tom Tresh (1962), Stan Bahnsen (1968), Dave Righetti (1981), Derek Jeter (1996) and Decide (2017).
How did Andújar etch his title within the books? Properly, by being a really unorthodox Yankee in his method on the plate. Andújar’s aggression performed in opposition to the Yankee method.
The Yankees are a staff composed of grinders, seeing nearly 4 pitches per plate look through the common season (3.99). Andújar was properly beneath that mark, seeing 3.52 pitches per plate look.
“There’s not essentially one technique to pitch [Andújar],” Yankees supervisor Aaron Boone stated. “He’s an aggressive hitter. He goes up there sometimes on the hunt early in counts, so he is had a number of success on first pitches. In order that brings that quantity down.
“I feel what [Andújar] has is a really versatile swing,” Boone stated. “Most guys, there is a specific technique to assault them, or a weak point that you just go after, and when you execute, you’ll be able to have success. In the event you make a mistake, some guys are in place to deal with it.”
To Boone’s level, Andújar’s early depend “searching” has resulted in big-time outcomes, as he completed with a .351 common and 6 residence runs when placing the primary pitch in play in 2018. Along with the early depend aggression, Boone recommended Andújar’s potential to regulate the strike zone and punish errors; Andújar has a 91.8 p.c contact price when swinging at pitches contained in the strike zone.
Decide mirrored his supervisor’s ideas on Andújar’s mechanics.
“He is obtained a great swing, and the way in which his swing is about up, he can hit a number of pitches at any time,” Decide instructed Sporting Information. “He could also be considering fastball, however his bat stays within the zone for thus lengthy that despite the fact that he is considering fastball, if he is aggressive to it, if he will get an off-speed pitch within the zone, he can pull it to left subject.”
Andújar demonstrated in 2018 that he is not a strictly dead-pull hitter. Whereas a majority of his residence runs went to left subject, he used all fields when hitting.
Andújar’s sturdiness additionally got here into play, enjoying in 149 video games and staying constant all through the season — his common final dipped beneath .270 on April 21 and he had 53 multi-hit video games through the 2018 season.
1. Miguel Andújar, Yankees: 61
2. Shohei Ohtani, Angels: 19
3. Joey Wendle, Rays: 11
4. Gleyber Torres, Yankees: 4
5. Jake Bauer, Rays: 2
6. Willy Adames, Rays: 1
7. Lou Trivino, Athletics: 1
THIS WEEK’S SN AWARD SCHEDULE
Monday: Rookies of the 12 months (AL and NL)
Tuesday: Comeback Gamers of the 12 months (AL and NL) and Managers of the 12 months (AL and NL)
Wednesday: AL All-Star Crew | NL All-Star Crew
Thursday: MLB Participant of the 12 months