Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar have sparked the New York Yankees
The Yankee youth movement was officially kickstarted with the Yankees fire-sale at the 2016 trade deadline. Most notably, the Yankees acquired their top prospect Gleyber Torres is a deal that sent Aroldis Chapman to the eventual World Champion Cubs. Come the 2017 season, the youth movement was in full force, with Aaron Judge’s historic rookie season leading the way to the club being one win away from a World Series birth. Last season changed baseball’s perspective of the Yankees, and the future is now, with Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar leading the charge.
Prior to Torres’ Major League debut on April 22, the Yankees were just 10-9, trailing the 17-3 Red Sox by 6.5 games. At that point in the season, Andujar had already taken over the third base job, but he was only hitting .250/.275/.521 with four doubles and two home runs. After Torres was recalled, Andujar really hit his stride and established himself as a threat in a potent Yankee offense. Andujar credits his success to his strong work ethic.
Since Torres’ call up, Andujar has seen his numbers jump to a .275/.291/.491 clip with a team high 12 doubles to go along with three home runs. And this past Friday night, Andujar lifted the Yankees to a walk off win on a looping single into right field.
“I worked really hard for this,” Andujar said through his translator after collecting three hits, including a double, in Saturday night’s 11-1 victory. “Surprised? I don’t see it like that because I’ve been training very hard to be here, to help the team. You never want to lose focus of what you need to do and how you prepare yourself to do your job.”Torres has followed Andujar’s lead, feeding off of the powerful bats around him to begin his career. The 21-year-old rookie sensation is off to a tremendous .327/.357.500 clip with three doubles and two bombs. In fact, Torres smacked his first career walk off hit, a three run home run against the Indians on Sunday afternoon to complete the sweep. The sweep is part of the Yankees current 15-1 record in their last 16 games.
With the Yankees only having lost one game since Torres was called to wear the pinstripes, Yankees manager Aaron Boone has taken notice.
"It's a special bat and he's been an impact player for us," Boone said. "What more can you say?"
Like Andujar, Torres has also worked his entire life so that he could one day shine on the big stage, and he has shown early on in his career that his hard work is paying off.
“I mean, I worked five years, six years to be here. I got the opportunity, and most important for me is to enjoy right now, enjoy every day and help my team,” Torres said.
Torres and Andujar’s hot starts also speak to the overall productivity of the Yankee lineup. Keep in mind, Torres has been doing this from the nine-hole in the lineup, and Andujar has also done so from the bottom third of the lineup. The production of these two has paid big dividends for the Yankees, who now sit just one game out of the Red Sox on the cusp of a big three game set in New York.
With that in mind, it is important to note that it is only early May. However, there’s no doubt that the Yankees have been playing inspired since the Torres and Andujar call ups, and they will be aiming for more as the season draws on.
“Ultimately, all we try to do is try to acquire as much talent through the draft, international signings, through trades, through free agency, and hopefully it comes together on a 25-man roster at the major-league level at some point to lead us to a championship. The only thing that matters is delivering a championship again into the trophy case. Obviously, that’s what we’re working towards,” GM Brian Cashman said.
Another interesting note is that the production of these two stud rookies has come at the expense of players going down to injury. With the Yankees still waiting on Brandon Drury to return to the lineup, the team will have some telling decisions to make in the next few weeks. But it Andujar and Torres keep playing like they have, and the Yankees keep winning, they will prove that they are here to stay. The two of them have offered the Yankees all they could have asked for and more, and if they keep this up, the Yankees could wind up with an AL East title and World Series run.
Time will tell, but at least in the immediate future, Torres and Andujar belong in the everyday lineup. They have provided the Yankees with an invaluable start to get them right back into contention after the Red Sox historic start early on in the season.
Article by: Chad Raines