Part 26 in the series analyzes the New York Yankees.
When the 2019 season starts, the Yankees are eager to see whether Miguel Andujar’s winter to increase his defense at third base has paid off.
Based on the season in which Andujar was second in the AL Rookie of the Year race for Angels’ two-way player, Shohei Ohtani, the Yankees were very happy with Andujar bats. An uptick in the field will be a good complement.
Meanwhile, they have watched Gio Urshela make a surprising game in third place during the exhibition schedule, but have questions whether he will be successful enough to become a regular player. He made a career of .225 bats in 466 major leagues while fighting with 0.589 OPS in Cleveland and Toronto from 2015-18 and finished the 2018 season with Scranton / Wilkes-Barre, the Triple-A Yankees team, after becoming acquired from the Blue Jays for cash in the month. August.
However, in three matches this season, Andujar suffered a tense right shoulder, entered the injured list and returned but eventually underwent end-of-season surgery.
Stay inside, the Yankees promote Urshela. They understood he would provide a defensive increase over Andujar in third place, but realized Urshela’s lack of hitting in a position that desperately needed a productive bat.
At this time, anyone who connected with the Yankees remotely knew that Urshela not only shined in third place, he also more than made up for the absence of the deadly Andujar bat by hitting .314 with 21 homers, 74 RBIs, and OPS 0.889.
If DJ LeMahieu, who was fourth in the AL MVP race, and Gleyber Torres, who landed 17th in the same chase, was the MVP Yankees last season, a strong case can be made that Urshela was third.
With Andujar healthy, the third level job was losing Urshela when spring training opened in February. The body of work was overshadowed by the end of the season’s slump where Urshela hit .167 (5-for-30) with homer, two RBI and sad 0.531 OPS.
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Now, the question attached to Urshela who is 28 years old has been asked to many players who come from nowhere to have a big year: Is it coincidence? And how many points are fixed because the ball gets tighter, which helps all the batsmen?
Based on what Urshela did not do in his first 167 major league matches, it would be difficult to admit that he was ready to carry out success at the top.
“Nobody can expect that. He never hit before and suddenly he made adjustments and suddenly he was a player, ” said an NL scout about Urshela, who showed a glimpse of what he did in 2019 while with Scranton / Wilkes-Barre at the end the previous season, when he hit .307 with 0.815 OPS in 27 matches with help from Phil Plantier. Triple-A coach hits Urshela to use the lower half of what he produces to produce power.
“The Yankees fell into that one,” the scout said.
What impresses most for talent assessors is the fact that Urshela can be counted on when counted.
“He got a big hit, he held all year,” the scouts said, pointing to Urshela hitting .333 (36-for-108) with runners in scoring positions.
At the age of 28, Urshela has 908 major leagues in bats who are ashamed of the 1,500 benchmarks used to determine what beaters he will be.
Had Urshela, who is scheduled to make $ 2.457 million this season, not hit, the Yankees could return to Andujar and have LeMahieu and Tyler Wade to play third.
However, they want Urshela to at least resemble his players a year ago, which allows them to move Andujar and keep his bats from playing.