Yankees backup just joined Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio in rare club
New York Yankees rookie third baseman Miguel Andujar is making the most of the opportunity he’s been given.
The 23-year-old only got the chance to be in the lineup every day after starter Brandon Drury went down with an injury.
All Andujar has done in 14 games this year is hit .316, with three home runs, 11 runs batted in and eight doubles, which is tied for the American League lead.
He’s been particularly great over the past week or so, and during Monday’s 14-1 win over the Minnesota Twins, he became just the third Yankee to record at least one extra-base hit in seven consecutive games before his 24th birthday.
The only other Yankees to accomplish that rare feat? Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, according to ESPN.
“For my name to be in the same sentence as those guys, it means a lot,” Andujar said via an interpreter. “Now I just want to keep doing the same thing, keep hitting.”
Andujar pulled off the feat in style too, launching a home run in the second inning off Twins starter Jake Odorizzi.
Thanks to a double he tacked on in the eighth inning, Andujar has now recorded hits in 15 of his last 29 at-bats, with eight runs, eight doubles, a triple, three homers and eight RBIs in that stretch. Moreover, as pointed out by MLB.com, through 19 career games, he has 14 extra-base hits. The only other Yankees rookie to have more was DiMaggio, with 16.
“He’s a really gifted hitter. And he’s gotten comfortable, and now we’re seeing what a gifted hitter can do,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
“We’ve seen it over the last few days with some good sliders that he’s handled. … kind of pitchers’ pitches, almost, and he’s handling them because he’s able to keep that bat in the hitting zone for so long. It’s one of the things why we think he has a chance to be such a good hitter,” he added.
Andujar’s hot streak has caught the attention of many people around the league, but one person who isn’t surprised is outfielder Aaron Judge.
Judge, who played with the rookie on the Class A Charleston RiverDogs in 2014, said even back then, he saw something special in Andujar.
“He was pretty young for that league, but he was just consistent every day,” Judge said. “If he was 4-for-4 or 0-for-4, he had this demeanor about him that he was always the same. He went out to play every day, and when you’ve got guys with that type of attitude, they’re going to play at this level and be consistent at this level. That’s what I saw out of Miggy at a young age.”
Now the only question is, what will the Yankees do with Andujar when Drury returns from his injury?
There may be no easy answer to that query, but either way, it’s a good problem for the Yankees to have.
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